While doubt over the Brisbane Test is at its high, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra said the Australian media was turning Team India’s unwillingness to go through another hard quarantine into something else.
The former opener said the media was making it seem like India was afraid of playing at the Gabba and hence they did not want to travel to Queensland. Describing the Aussie media as the “12th man”, Chopra, in his latest YouTube video, said that the hosts were trying to give a “chickening out” image to Team India Chopra said in the video that “mental disintegration is practised in Australia” as it was also done during the last tour. He said the media was making it seem that India cannot win at the Gabba as “they are scared of the grass on Gabba surface”. He said if man-to-man marking is done and Steve Smith fails to score runs, then India actually had the upper hand. “It is the Australian team who should think about playing on a different surface, on a more quicker pitch (sic),” he wrote.
Earlier it was reported that the BCCI had written to Cricket Australia seeking relaxation in the hard quarantine protocol of Brisbane. They had made it clear that the Indian players were finding the restrictions “too stressful” and for the fourth Test to be played, the strict rules had to be relaxed.
A senior BCCI official said that the Indian players wanted to be able to mingle with each other after the day’s play and eat together in the hotel. The board has said there is no meaning behind restricting the players to their room after they have already played in close contact earlier in the day. The top BCCI executive has also written that the MoU signed between the two countries’ management never had any mention of two hard quarantines in separate cities.
While Team India has already lived through the stringent rules once in Sydney, they do not want to go through it again in Brisbane. Things have become even trickier after a person tested positive for COVID-19 in Brisbane and the Queensland state officials have announced a hard lockdown for at least three days in the city.