AUS vs IND: Tim Paine Warns ‘Tension Starting to Boil’ Ahead of 3rd Test in Sydney

India vs Australia: There have been reports that India have been unhappy over the hotel restrictions with an unnamed source claiming they are being treated like 'animals in the zoo.'

Published: January 6, 2021 8:52 AM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Feroz Khan

tim paine australia cricket captain
File photo of Tim Paine (Credit: IANS)

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has had a fiery history but the current iteration has been a docile affair so far. But things may change come the third Test in Sydney after unconfirmed reports from Indian camp that they are unwilling to undergo hard quarantine in Brisbane and will rather play at a different venue.

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There have also been reports that India have been unhappy over the hotel restrictions with an unnamed source claiming they are being treated like ‘animals in the zoo.’ Cricket Australia though claims there has been no formal complaint from the tourists but captain Tim Paine reckons the atmosphere may turn a bit hostile due to the developments ahead of the Sydney Test.

“I think it’s boiling away,” Paine said on Wednesday. “There’s some stuff starting to happen, there’s a bit of chat starting to happen. I think this Test is going to be fascinating, not just from a cricket point of view, but also I think there has been tension starting to boil over 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. We’ll see how it goes,” he added.

When asked that if the players are getting frustrated that there’s a possibility that India may refuse to travel to Brisbane and a venue change may become a reality, Paine replied in the negative.

However, he does concede that due to the power Indian cricket enjoys, it cannot be ruled out.

“I wouldn’t say frustration,” Paine said. “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 it could happen.”

He continued, “We’re not buying into where the Test is being played. As far as we’re aware, it is at the Gabba, but as I said in the 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 play it. That’s the way we are looking at it.”

Pain explained why the series has been ‘unusually tame’.

“It’s been unusually tame the start of this series and I think it’s because both teams are just happy to be back playing Test cricket. There has been such a big break and there is a lot of respect between the two teams, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s very competitive sides,” he said.

It’s been two years since Paine oversaw a first ever home Test series defeat to India during 2018-19.

“Absolutely it’s disappointing that we lost that last series, regardless of the team we had,” Paine said. “This Test is the most important Test we’ve played in a long time and that’s the way we’re treating it. The series is up for grabs still and we want to win it. We won convincingly in Adelaide but apart from an hour of magical bowling from our quicks, we were pretty ordinary in that Test as well. We know we need to improve.”

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Published Date: January 6, 2021 8:52 AM IST