SYDNEY: Rumors of Indian frustration with the possibility of being put into tight quarantine for the fourth Brisbane test against Australia could increase tensions on the field in the third game of the series, Captain Tim Paine of the home side said on Wednesday.
Paine said the weekend reports that India might refuse to play at the Gabba had begun to upset some of his players and could lead to a backlash when the third test starts on Thursday at Sydney Cricket Ground.
In his pre-match news conference, he said, “I think there is a bit of tension beginning to boil under the surface with a lot of unnamed sources coming out of their camp saying where they want to play the fourth test and where they don’t want to go.” “I think a couple of people are starting to grind it, so we’ll see how it goes.”
No comments were made by Indian officials about the issue, and Cricket Australia manager Nick Hockley said on Monday that he had heard nothing from them to indicate that they were disappointed with Brisbane’s arrangements.
“Quarantine life is definitely a challenge, especially as we know that life is normal in Australia, particularly in Sydney,” he told reporters. “Players are trapped in the room, which is all right. We know how to cope with it, and we’re primed for whatever sort of scenario. We are not irritated at all. We understand what our priority here is.
We’re here to play cricket and that’s what we really want to do. Starting tomorrow, the test match starts well and, as a squad, as a unit, we’re all focused on playing some decent cricket.
The series is nicely poised at 1-1 and some have indicated in the Australian media that India would like to skip the Gabba, where India has never won, and to play the fourth Sydney Test, where they have a better record.
Paine said Australia would show up to play somewhere in the fourth Test.
He said, “When you hear things like this coming, especially from India, which we know has a lot of power in world cricket, it’s likely it could happen.” “We’re not too fussed, though. We don’t buy into where the test is played. As far as we are sure, it is at the Gabba, but we couldn’t care less, as I said the other day at the team meeting.
If you called us and said that tomorrow was in Mumbai, we’d get on a plane and we’d go and play it. That’s the way we look at it.’