Former wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta has said that the Indian cricket team being accused of breaching COVID-19 protocols by the Australian media will only strengthen their resolve to do better in the upcoming Sydney Test.
The Australian media has been making false allegations against the Indian team for not adhering to COVID-related guidelines and even shying away from playing the final Test in Brisbane due to the conditions being favourable to the home team at that venue.
During a discussion on Sports Today, Deep Dasgupta shared his views on why the Australian media is employing these tactics and the repercussions of the same on the Indian team.
Deep Dasgupta observed that the primary intention of the Australian media is to rattle the Indian team and adversely impact their preparations for the third Test, saying in this regard:
"The Indian team will not be too flustered with this. For me, there are two reasons behind it. One is to try and set the cat among the pigeons in the Indian dressing room and try and derail their preparation and take their mind off cricket to stuff that has nothing to do with cricket."
Dasgupta added that the Australian media is also trying to divert the attention away from the frailties of the home team.
"The second is also to distract the attention from the fragile batting of the Australian side. Now, suddenly the focus after the Melbourne Test is not on the Australian side," observed Deep Dasgupta.
The former wicketkeeper highlighted that the recent sequence of events could act as a greater motivating factor for the Indian team and spur them on, saying in this regard:
"As far as the Indian team is concerned, this will further galvanise them and further embolden their resolve. I think this will actually play into the Indian team's hand."
Tim Paine is under tremendous pressure right now: Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta urged the Indian media to highlight the deficiencies in the Australian team.
"Let's just leave the Indian team for the time being, and let's focus on the Australian side. That's what they want us not to focus on," stated Deep Dasgupta.
He pointed out that the Australian team is desperate to include David Warner to address their top-order issues despite the southpaw admitting that he is not yet fully fit, saying in this regard:
"Warner, he is not fit, we know that. In fact, in his press conference he has told the world that he is not fit, but they are pushing him. That's how hard-pressed the Australian side is."
Deep Dasgupta also highlighted that the Australian team has a host of issues that includes Steve Smith's indifferent form and Marnus Labuschagne not being at his best. He signed off by observing that the Australian skipper Tim Paine is also under intense pressure to deliver the goods.
"Smith is not getting runs; Labuschagne is looking different. Tim Paine is under tremendous pressure right now. They have got almost their full side, obviously Warner is not around. They have to win this (Sydney Test); that means he is under pressure," concluded Deep Dasgupta.
Tim Paine's captaincy might be at stake if he is unable to lead Australia to a win in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
There have already been calls from certain quarters for Steve Smith to be handed back the Australian Test team captaincy. Back-to-back series losses at home against India will lend such calls further fuel.Published 04 Jan 2021, 19:39 IST