Sledging and banters have been an indispensable part of the India-Australia rivalry in the last couple of decades. But surprisingly, the ongoing series between the two giants has been unusually quiet as players from neither sides tried to get under the skin of the opposition. The only incident where a player tried to unsettle an opposition player took place in the second Test when Rishabh Pant threw some verbal volleys at Matthew Wade.
But things could escalate in the upcoming third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, according to Australia captain Tim Paine. With reports of India’s reluctance to play at the Gabba being the biggest talking point in the buildup to the SCG Test, Tim Paine believes that the upcoming Test ‘is going to be fascinating’ because of the ‘bit of chat starting to happen’. He also took a dig at the unnamed Indian sources for their comments on the venue for the fourth Test.
“It’s been unusually tame, the start of this series, I think it’s because both teams are just happy to be back playing Test cricket,” Tim Paine said on Wednesday. “There has been such a big break and there is a lot of respect between the two teams.
“It’s boiling away. There’s some stuff starting to happen, there’s a bit of chat starting to happen so I think this Test is going to be fascinating not just from a cricket point of view.
“There’s a bit of tension starting to boil under the surface with a lot of unnamed sources coming out from their camp saying where they want to play the fourth Test and where they don’t want to go. I think it’s starting to grind a few people so we’ll see how it goes,” he added.
Last week, a source from the Indian team told Cricbuzz the side was reluctant to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test if it meant another fortnight of quarantine.
“If you look at it, we were quarantining for 14 days in Dubai before landing in Sydney and doing so for another 14 days. That means we were in a hard bubble for nearly a month before coming out. What we don’t want now is to quarantine again at the end of the tour,” the source told Cricbuzz.
“We aren’t keen on going to Brisbane if it means being stuck in the hotel again, except for going to the ground. Instead we don’t mind being in some other city, playing both Test matches there to complete the series and returning home. All we’re saying is the boys have been in various states of lockdowns and bubbles for nearly six months now. And it’s not been easy for anyone,” he added.
Tim Paine on the reports:
With the reports of a possible venue change for the fourth Test doing the rounds, Tim Paine said that while Australia were not frustrated with it, it was always a concern to hear such reports given the power of the BCCI. Taking a sly dig at India, Tim Paine also said that he would not mind to travel to Mumbai to play the Test.
“I wouldn’t say frustration (over the recent India-Gabba reports), I’d just say a bit of uncertainty because when you hear things like that coming, particularly from India who we know hold a lot of power in world cricket, it’s likely that it could happen” he said.
“For us we just want to be really clear on this Test match, we know the protocols, we know what’s expected of us, and we are going to focus on that this week. Whatever happens next week happens and again we’ll adapt to it.
“We’re not buying into where the Test is being played. As far as we are aware it’s at the Gabba. I said in a team meeting the other day we couldn’t care less if you rang us up and said it’s in Mumbai tomorrow we’d get on a plane and we’d go and play it. That’s the way we’re looking at it,” he added.