The Indian cricket team are preparing for the Brisbane test against Australia but their arrival here has not been without problems. A few weeks ago, there was a big cloud over Gabba’s test after India expressed reservations about a strict quarantine. The comments in the wake of Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates and Queensland Sports Minister were also not well received by the Indian cricket team and BCCI. When Ajinkya Rahane’s Indian cricket team arrived in Brisbane, the hotel they were staying at was not ‘up to international standards’ and it took intervention from the BCCI to iron out the details with Cricket Australia. With the Indian cricket team living in a bio-bubble for nearly five months, the mental health of some players could be a cause for concern.
However, at the pre-match press conference which batting coach Vikram Rathour attended, any suggestion that the Indian cricket team would be distracted by the off-pitch incidents was dismissed. Responding to a question from TBEN, Vikram Rathour said there was no way the team would suffer from a lack of motivation. “You don’t need housekeeping and room service to boost your motivation. You play in Australia in Australia. They have the best bowling attack in the world. This in itself is enough to boost your motivation. At the start there was a problem but BCCI was in constant contact with Cricket Australia, ”said Rathour.
The Indian cricket team is plagued by injuries to players like Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah. While team management will question whether Bumrah will be available for the Brisbane test, Ravindra Jadeja has certainly been ruled out, while Hanuma Vihari, the Sydney test hero with Ravichandran Ashwin, is all but ruled out. However, Vikram Rathour believes this will not affect the team’s momentum.
“I don’t believe in elk. We have the capacity. With or without injuries, the 11 players India will host in Brisbane will have a chance because they deserve it. If we play to our potential, we will do well,” said Vikram Rathour.
A lot of preparation time, against Nathan Lyon
India has been in Australia since November, playing three ODIs and three T20Is ahead of testing. Traditionally Brisbane has always been the first international summer home test in Australia but due to the coronavirus situation and the slightly stricter scenario in Queensland, the Brisbane test has become the final summer test. Vikram Rathour believes this has given the Indian team more time to deal with the pace and rebound that will be there on Gabba’s bridge.
“On this tour we’ve had a lot of time. We’ve had a lot of practice and we’ve prepared well. You expect more bounce and pace in Brisbane. The belief is there the boys will handle it. good, ”Rathour said.
However, the Indian cricket team has had great success against Nathan Lyon, who is a vital member of the Australian bowling attack. Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were hugely successful while Mitchell Starc was temperamental but Nathan Lyon endured a rough time, managing just six wickets for an average of 57. Rathore described the strategy the Indian cricket team has used to counter Australia’s most successful offspinner.
“The discussion (to counter Lyon) started during the lockout because we realized it was a very important series. The boys were ready and they were prepared. We executed the game plans well. We beat well. against him rather than playing badly at bowling, ”said Vikram Rathour.
India is reportedly aiming to become the first nation since the West Indies in 1988 to beat Australia in their Gabba fortress. Since that loss in 1988, Australia have drawn seven and won 25 matches in Brisbane.