Sydney: Australia captain Tim Paine on Wednesday admitted that “tension is boiling under the surface” ahead of the third Test after unnamed sources from the Indian camp expressed apprehensions about playing the final match of the series in Brisbane from January 15.
There have been reports that due to strict health protocol rules in the state of Queensland, the Indian team need to undergo another round of hard quarantine in Brisbane during the Test match with initial protocol not even allowing players to venture out of their rooms.
After the Indian board took up the matter, it is understood that players can mingle in a bio-bubble inside the hotel and the Test match is on despite some sharp comments from a couple of state politicians which didn’t go down well with the BCCI.
“I think it’s boiling away, some stuff is starting to happen,” Paine said during virtual media interaction to a question as to why there has been less than usual chatter other than the Rishabh Pant-Matthew Wade banter at the MCG.
“It will be fascinating not just from cricketing point of view but also the tension boiling under the surface with lot of unnamed sources coming out from their camp as to where they are going to play their fourth Test, where they don’t want to go ….So let’s see how it goes,” the Australian skipper said.
Paine admitted that there will be an element of uncertainty associated with the Brisbane Test if India, a powerful cricket board, wants to press the pressure button.
Asked if he is frustrated with the turn of events, Paine replied: “No inside frustration but a bit of uncertainty because when you hear things like that coming particularly from India, which holds a lot of power in world cricket, its likely that it could happen.”
As far as his team is concerned, Paine is clear that it hardly matters if the Test is played in Brisbane or Mumbai.
“For us, we just want to be clear on this Test match, we know the protocols and we know what’s expected of us, we will focus on that this week and then whatever happens next week happens and we will adapt to it.
“We are not too fussed as to where the Test is being played and we couldn’t care less if you rang up and said that it’s in Mumbai. We will get onto a plan and we will go and play.”
He however agreed that it has been “unusually tame” start to the series with very minimal verbal banter between the two sides.
“I like it. It’s because both teams are just happy to be back playing Test cricket after such a big break. And there’s a lot of respect between the two teams no doubt about that. Very competitive sides.”