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"It’s a big gimmick to get under the skin of the Indians" – Pragyan Ojha on recent allegations

Rishabh Pant (R) is said to have hugged a fan at a Melbourne restaurant
Rishabh Pant (R) is said to have hugged a fan at a Melbourne restaurant
Modified 04 Jan 2021, 17:55 IST

Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha has said that the Australians are trying to put pressure back on India by spreading rumors against their players.

The visitors have been alleged of breaking bio-bubble protocols and not wanting to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test.

Several sections of the Australian media rolled out pictures of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya at a baby store in Sydney, making farcical allegations that their protocol breaches went unnoticed.

Reports Down Under also claim that the Indian team didn’t want to play the final Test in Brisbane owing to the mandatory hard quarantine set to be imposed in Queensland.

Cricket Australia, however, rebutted the claims, saying the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hasn't requested anything of that sort.

Pragyan Ojha attributed the falsified rumors to the Australians trying to get under the skin of the Indian team, who convincingly won the Boxing Day Test by eight wickets.

“Everybody knows Australians are bad losers. They are not able to take it (MCG defeat) despite five of our main players missing. Indian team is doing so well. They never expected the Indian team to win. They thought they could win, they were taken by surprise," Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.
“I feel it’s a big gimmick to take the pressure off Australia and try to get under the skin of the Indians. They don’t know we exactly know what they are trying to do. The Indian team is relaxed, they know what to do and focused on the last two Tests,” Pragyan Ojha added.

Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma was one of the five players spotted at the restaurant and accused of breaking protocols.

Pragyan Ojha, though, sounded confident that the reports are being put out in a certain way for the public to misinterpret them.

“Rohit Sharma, he has had a 14-day quarantine, before that training at the NCA. I am very sure he is not a fool to come and just breach the protocols. Yes, at times, things look different. I am very sure, they know what the protocols are and they follow them,” Pragyan Ojha explained.

Pragyan Ojha has represented the Indian cricket team in 24 Tests, 18 ODIs and six T20Is, picking up 144 wickets.

Also read: 'That's stupidity to the core' - Pragyan Ojha on reports of Kohli and Pandya having breached COVID protocol

‘This incident will again galvanise the Indian team further,’ says Deep Dasgupta

India won the second Test by eight wickets
India won the second Test by eight wickets

Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta was of the opinion that the recent allegations will “galvanise” the Indian players. He thinks the side will go into the remaining two Tests as a closely-knit unit.

“I don’t know what the result will be. India can go on to win, they might lose the next two. But this incident will again galvanise the team further. I think they will get a lot closer after the incident. This will only help the team get together,” Dasgupta told Sports Today.

With the series level at 1-1, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane now has the task of rallying his troops and carrying the winning momentum into the third (Jan 7-11) and fourth Test (Jan 15-19).

Published 04 Jan 2021, 17:55 IST
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