Cricket is a tremendously popular sport in a nation like India. While many aspire to don the national colours, only a chosen few are rewarded with the prestigious opportunity. Representing the country at the highest stage is a matter of great pride for the players and is undoubtedly the biggest driving force.
However, the presence of supporters in the stands also is an inseparable incentive that a cricketer is habituated to. Former India opener Wasim Jaffer came forward with a motivational message for Ajinkya Rahane and co. who will be playing in front of a limited audience during the India vs Australia 3rd Test.
It was exhilarating to see the presence of spectators in the stadium during the India vs Australia 2020 series amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two fixtures of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy also witnessed a significant turnaround. However, with the surge in the number of coronavirus cases in Sydney, the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground's capacity had to be limited to just 25%.
The reduced crowd capacity may not necessarily tone down the intensity of the contest, as both the participating nations are keen to clinch the crucial Test match. Representing one's nation in the sport is the ultimate dream for a cricketer, and Mohammed Siraj breaking down during India's national anthem ahead of the India vs Australia 3rd Test match was a testament of the same. Former India cricketer, Wasim Jaffer, acknowledged the emotional scenes at Sydney and shared MS Dhoni's popular quote to motivate the contingent.
Even if there's little or no crowd to cheer you on, no better motivation than playing for India. As a legend once said "You don't play for the crowd, you play for the country." 🇮🇳 #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/qAwIyiUrSI— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 7, 2021
The 42-year-old mentioned how the lack of crowds also does not make much of a difference for a cricketer, as their sole aim is to represent the country. Wasim Jaffer also echoed MS Dhoni's sentiment and suggested that a player does not play for the crowd, but for his nation. Mohammed Siraj, who comes from a very humble background, also did not let his father's demise have an effect on his priority of playing for Team India. This speaks volumes about the 26-year-old's character and mental fortitude.
Australia's Tim Paine won the toss on Thursday and elected to bat first. Mohammed Siraj made an impact straight away by dismissing star batsman David Warner. Unfortunately for the fans, the rain did play spoilsport for a considerable part of Day 1. However, despite losing an early wicket, Will Pucovski steadied the ship for his side along with Marnus Labuschagne. At the time of writing this report, Australia were at 161-2.
Fans can tune into the Sony Pictures Sports Network (SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 3 and SONY SIX) at 5:00 AM (IST) from Thursday, January 7 for the live telecast of the match. The India vs Australia live streaming will also be made available on the SonyLIV app. To follow the live scores of the game, one can keep tabs on the social media accounts of the BCCI and Cricket Australia.
Stay updated on the latest IND VS AUS news, IND VS AUS updates, IND VS AUS schedule, IND VS AUS matches and more. From live updates to breaking news, Republic World brings you all the live updates online so that you don't miss out on the IND VS AUS extravaganza.