Batsman Matthew Wade has stated that Australia expect the fourth Test at The Gabba as per schedule even as reports emerged that India are not keen to travel to Brisbane.
The visitors have apprehensions of being forced into hard quarantine for the Gabba Test on entry to Brisbane.
Cricket Australia has said that have not been formally been approached over the matter. Wade was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au:
"That’s the first I’ve heard of that to be honest (India not wanting to play at Gabba). We all knew we were going to get some curveballs and this is just one of them. The schedule has been rolled out and we’d prefer to stick to that.”
Wade said the Australians want Gabba to stay as the venue for the fourth Test. He added:
"I would expect just to go to the Gabba regardless, (even) if that is more of a quarantine-based (situation), we fully expect to be going to Brisbane to play the Gabba Test."
Both Australia and India are set to fly to Sydney on Monday for the third Test, which starts on January 7. The teams will then head to Queensland for the final Test at the Gabba.
Why India are unwilling to head to The Gabba
For the first two Tests, the teams could eat outdoors and leave their hotels. However, with Sydney experiencing fresh wave of COVID-19 cases, things will not be the same.
Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley confirmed that the Gabba Test would be played under "quarantine conditions". This means the two teams can only leave their hotels for training and playing.
Wade accepted that it would be a challenge to play under harder quaratine rules, but added they are ready to make sacrifices. He stated:
"If that’s what the Government are going to make us to do play a game at the Gabba, we’re willing to sacrifice. I knew coming into it, and a lot of people knew coming into it, it wasn’t going to be an ideal situation and if something went south, we were going to have to make some more sacrifices along the way.
“As a group we understand that and we’re ready for the challenge."
Another reason why Australia remain keen to play at the Gabba is because the venue is their fortress. The hosts haven’t lost a since Test at the venue since 1988. Wade admitted:
"Our record is very good there and we tend to play good cricket there. Two games back-to-back at the SCG would not be something we’d want to do, we’d be much more comfortable playing the schedule (as planned), there’s no secret we love the Gabba and we want to get there."
India’s reservations for Gabba come in the wake of five Indian cricketers being placed in isolation for dining at an indoor venue in Melbourne.Published 03 Jan 2021, 11:00 IST