Reports of Indian discontent at the prospect of being forced into strict quarantine for the fourth Test against Australia in Brisbane could raise tensions on the field in the series’ third match, the home side’s captain Tim Paine said on Wednesday.
Paine said the reports at the weekend that India might refuse to play at the Gabba had started to annoy some of his players and could result in a backlash when the third Test starts at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
“I think there’s a bit of tension starting to boil under 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,” he said in his pre-match news conference.
“I think it’s starting to grind a few people, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Indian officials have made no statements about the issue, and Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley said on Monday he had heard nothing from them to suggest they were unhappy with the arrangements for Brisbane.
India captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday admitted that quarantine was a burden but sidestepped all questions about a potential Brisbane boycott, saying such issues were for the “BCCI and the team management”.
“Quarantine life is definitely a challenge, especially we know that in Australia, in Sydney especially, the life is normal,” he told reporters.
The series is nicely poised at 1-1 and some in the Australian media have suggested that India would just prefer to avoid the Gabba, where India have never won, and play the fourth Test in Sydney, where they have a better record.