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There has been so much talk off the ground to unsettle Indian cricketers and corner Rohit Sharma: Pragyan Ojha

There were plenty of talks circling the Indian cricket team ahead of the third Test match in Sydney. More than Rohit Sharma’s comeback into the Test side post his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, it was the news regarding the breach of bio-bubble protocols that was at the center of the talks which created a massive commotion amidst the cricket fraternity.

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Having leveled the ongoing 4-match series by 1-1, comprising an astounding comeback in the second Test in Melbourne post the day-night Test in Adelaide, former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha reckons that all the recent talks surrounding the Indian cricketers are an intentional attempt to unsettle them for the SCG Test. Ojha further added that the noises will go silent once the match commences.

“I think, at this point in time, he would be looking forward to the game starts. Because there has been so much talk off the ground. All the cricketers will be looking forward to the game starts because then everything else quietens down, it is about the cricket,” Ojha, who picked 113 wickets in 24 Tests, told Sports Today.

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As a leader, Rohit Sharma can be a great help to Ajinkya Rahane: Pragyan Ojha

Rohit Sharma is among the best cricketers in white-ball cricket and since 2019, he cemented his spot in the Indian Test side courtesy of his heroics in the 3-match Test series against South Africa wherein he played at the top-order, as an opener. Averaging 132.75 in 4 innings, the 33-year-old Nagpur-born hammered 529 runs with twin centuries in the first Test in Visakhapatnam and a double-ton in the final Test in Ranchi.

Though Rohit didn’t play any red-ball cricket in the year 2020, his exploits with the willow once set in the middle, make him a force to deal with in Sydney. Speaking on the same, Ojha feels that the off-field noise was to corner the Mumbaikar, as he has found his potency as an opener in the longest format.

“They were trying to corner Rohit Sharma because the new Rohit is a person who can make a lot of difference to the team. As a leader, he can be a great help to Ajinkya Rahane. As a batsman, if he gets going, it will be very tough. Maybe, the thought of trying and unsettle our boys. Rohit Sharma, with all these that have happened to him, he will be much more focused and really looking forward to the Test match,” Ojha concluded.

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Earlier in the day, Australia opted to bat first and posted 166 for 2 at the end of day one in the SCG Test. Debutant Will Pucovski opened the innings and scored 62 off 110 with 4 fours, then formed a 100-run partnership for the second wicket alongside Marnus Labuschagne, who is unbeaten on 67.

Post-Pucovski’s departure on a Navdeep Saini’s delivery brought in Steve Smith, who has been looking in great nick so far, scoring 31 off 64 with 5 fours, and stitching an unbeaten 60-run stand alongside Labuschagne for the third-wicket.

Opener David Warner was dismissed in the fourth over the innings to an angled off a delivery from pacer Mohammed Siraj. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah remained wicket-less on the first day’s play in SCG.

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V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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