Brisbane: The India cricket team today chose to stay locked inside their hotel rooms, making it the 16th day in the past 64 days of the tour when the players turned their backs on bat and ball.
Out of 64 days, 22 days have been spent on the cricket field, 10 days were set aside as travelling days, while 16 days for practice sessions.
This after India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni asserted, "Our practice sessions are long. We spend close to four hours practicing every day."
If so, it must be a case of visualisation technique in which physical appearance is not required.
Today most boys, as usual, were busy with their Xbox and Playstations, while others kept sniffing on what was being written about them back home.
Hence, even their public stances that they do not bother to follow the media could not be taken at face value. In fact one print-hacker recently claimed that "the players are usually the first readers of your story."
So one must take it with a pinch of salt when Virat Kohli says, "Not watching television, not seeing news, not reading newspapers. I haven`t touched a newspaper in the last one month," or when Dhoni utters, "I have not been reading any newspapers (nor) getting any news from India so I don`t know what exactly is going on."
As the Indian players failed to turn up for the net session today, the fans were left disappointed.
But the team is due to practice tomorrow and local fans would get another chance to cheer their heroes and grab a photo or an autograph. Hopefully, it wouldn`t be a case of being shut out from the nets as was the case with fans in Sydney ahead of the second Test.
It can be observed that the Indian players` tendency to keep themselves out of bounds for everyone is in stark the contrast with a team like Australia.
While David Hussey, David Warner, Peter Forrest and Clint McKay yesterday dressed up as clowns to entertain patients in the Sydney Children`s Hospital, in Perth, Mike Hussey visited Princess Margaret Children`s Hospital.
At the launch of the Commonwealth Bank one-day series, Ricky Ponting, alongwith his other teammates, cooked on the barbeque for fans.
There is no opportunity lost by Australian cricketers to mingle with their fans. Sadly, it`s never the case with Indian cricketers.
Even on the cricketing field, the difference between the Indian and Australia teams is quite visible.
India team arrives only half an hour before the toss. The rigorous fielding drill -- a regular feature of Australian nets -- is a rarity with the Indians.