‘4-5 guys put the whole Test series at risk’, Tim Paine on Indian players seen at a restaurant during 2020-21 tour

Some of the Indian players were accused of violating the COVID protocols during 2020-21 Australia tour.

Team India had won the Test series 2-1 | GettyTeam India's Test series victory on Australian soil in 2020-21 is widely regarded as one of the greatest triumphs in the history of the longest format of the game.

The visitors had faced a lot of flak after being bowled out for 36 during their 8-wicket loss in the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval. Furthermore, then regular skipper Virat Kohli returned home on paternity leave after the first Test while a number of key players sustained injuries through the course of the series.

Despite the setbacks, the Indian team under Ajinkya Rahane’s leadership bounced back brilliantly to register a 2-1 series victory with emphatic wins in Melbourne and Brisbane.

The series had also witnessed some off-field drama, including some of the Indian players being asked to stay in the hotel after they were seen at a restaurant.

In a video, which had gone viral on social media, the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, and Navdeep Saini were seen at a restaurant after the win in Melbourne.

After staying indoors in their hotel, the aforementioned players returned COVID-19 negative and hence were allowed to feature in the third Test in Sydney.

Recalling the incident on Voot Select's docu-series 'Bandon Me Tha Dum', then Australia skipper Tim Paine said: "I mean those four or five guys put the whole Test series at risk. For what? For a bowl a Nando's chips or wherever they went, like I just find that pretty selfish to be honest."

Australia’s current Test captain Pat Cummins also opened up about how some members of the Australian team were annoyed by seeing the Indian stars allegedly violating the COVID protocols.

"It did annoy quite a few of the boys, especially the ones who had to spend a Christmas without their families. That was sacrificing quite a bit to be there on the tour to hear that the other team were flouting the rules and not taking it seriously," said Cummins.

See Also: "We won't play till then," Rahane reveals how India reacted after Siraj faced racial abuse during SCG Test

On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane said Australia played mind games after losing the Boxing Day Test and their media was wrong totally wrong in accusing the Indian players of breaking COVID rules.

"The players who appeared in the pictures were actually waiting for their takeaway order. Due to bad weather, they had to wait inside. The story that appeared in the news was really wrong. The Australian cricket board said that when you will go to Sydney from Melbourne, no one can come out of the hotel and you have to undergo quarantine. The outside world, especially in Sydney, everything was normal. There was no lockdown, everyone was allowed to move around and the players were asked to stay indoors. We knew that Australia have started to play mind games, especially after what happened in Melbourne," said Rahane.

Sharing his thoughts on the same, Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj, who made his Test debut in that series, said: "Had we lost the 2nd Test, then that would not have happened. After making a comeback from being 36 all out, they were caught off-guard. They suddenly re-introduced quarantine."


By Salman Anjum - 17 Jun, 2022

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