Former Indian Test opener Aakash Chopra isn't at all impressed with the mind games played by Australian media and termed them the 12th man of the Australian side. He also added that there was mental disintegration last time when India had toured Australia in 2018/19, which they had won 2-1.
There is no love lost between Indian and Australian media as they have been taking on each other off the field, albeit with the same intensity as the cricketers from both the countries in the enthralling ongoing Border-Gavaskar trophy. There have been reports of India wanting leeways in hard quarantine rules in Brisbane as it was never part of the MoU signed between the two cricket boards. Australian media and fans have expressed their displeasure at the same, suggesting that India are looking for a way out of Gabba as it's the Oz fortress.
Former Indian Test opener-turned cricket expert, Aakash Chopra, hit out at the Australian media and also the Aussie team for practicing mental disintegration. He stated that the Kangaroos had adopted similar tactics on last tour as well, which India had won 2-1.
“I saw it during the last tour as well that mental disintegration is practised in Australia. When Australia lost the Adelaide Test last time, coach Justin Langer spoke to the media that this is a team of ‘bad boys’ and they ‘bully’ the other team. I was like ‘bully calling a bully, what are you doing?’. Then after they won the Perth Test, the media created a buzz that India cannot win in Perth,” Chopra said in a video on his Youtube channel, reported HT.
He added a similar narrative is being built around the Gabba Test too, that India are scared of the pacy Gabba wicket.
“Now a similar atmosphere is being built at Gabba that this Indian team cannot win at Gabba. I feel that Indian team is better placed if the match takes place at Gabba, because if we do a man-to-man marking, and if Steve Smith does not score runs, the weight is tilted towards the Indian side.
“It is the Australian team who should think about playing on a different surface, on a more quicker pitch. But the atmosphere has been created that the Indian team does not want to play in Gabba and they are ‘chickening out’ because they are scared of the grass on Gabba surface,” he further said.
Chopra feels it's very typical behaviour from Australian media as they have been behaving as an extension of the team for sometime now, and also cited the video footage leaked by them between Jadeja and Ishant in last tour as to how they play mind games and show Indians in poor light.
“This is very typical of Australian media and this is how they behave. They became the 12th man. It happened during the last tour as well. They would leak a small video clip of how Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma are arguing, and the stump mic caught some abusive exchanges between the players.
“I mean how the media got hold of these clips? This is the whole system that is in place that a media story will come out, then former players will start speaking about it. The former players, on the last tour, started speaking in unison that this Indian team is really ill-mannered team, but they were tasting their own medicine.”
“Why was sledging between the players made into a national issue? I remember there was front-page news that said ‘Indian team is in disarray’ because there is a divide in the team. It was another example of blowing things out of proportion by the Australian media, and they actually played the role of the 12th man for their side. Is this happening all over again? My question is this."