Steve Smith asserted on Friday that the Australian team would like to play the fourth match of the Test series against India at the Gabba, Brisbane despite the latest COVID-19 restrictions in the city.
Steve Smith was the torchbearer for the Australian batsmen on day two of the second Test, scoring a masterful 131. After the end of second day's play, Smith was asked about the rising concerns about the venue for the final Test. In reply, he said that 'nothing' has changed for the hosts.
"To my knowledge, not anything is changed from our point of view, we will wait and see and that is not our decision to make, we are the players and we go where we are told and do what we need to do, but we would like to play at the Gabba for sure," Smith said during a virtual press conference.
The two cricket boards and the Queensland government are in a deadlock over the issue of quarantine for the Indian players when they reach Brisbane from Sydney.
The BCCI has expressed concerns on the Indian team's mental fatigue due to multiple quarantines and is asking for a venue change. The CA, on the other hand, is determined to hold the Test as per schedule. The issue is slowly snowballing into a minor controversy involving both the public and some key players.
Steve Smith's record at the Gabba
Steve Smith has an unparalleled record in Australia. The Gabba is no different to his genius. The batsman has scored 579 runs there in six games at an average of 64.33. These include three tons, a fifty and a high score of 141 not out.
One of these hundreds came against India in the 2014-15 edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The fourth Test is currently scheduled to be played from 15th January. Both Sydney and Melbourne can be used as a backup venue if the need arises.
Australia in driver's seat in third Test
As far as the Sydney Test is concerned, Australia are currently in the driver's seat. At the end of third day's play, they had accumulated a lead of 197 runs with Smith and Marnus Labuschagne on the crease.
Injuries have worsened India's position as well. Both Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant had to be taken to hospital for scans after copping blows to their left hand and elbow respectively while batting.Published 09 Jan 2021, 13:54 IST