India vs Australia: ‘Nothing changed from our point of view,’ Steve Smith says Aussies would ‘love to play at Gabba’ despite strict protocols

Australia batsman Steve Smith insisted that even though his team would play the fourth Test match against India anywhere they are asked to, they would be happy to play the match at Gabba in Brisbane. Smith’s remarks came at the virtual interaction with the media after the end of play on Day 2 of the third Test in Sydney as Queensland entered into a three-day coronavirus-forced lockdown casting fresh doubts on the fate of the match.

The lockdown was announced less than 24 hours after top cricket board officials from India and Australia were engaged in a discussion on relaxation of hard quarantine measures for the visitors.

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On being asked about the same, Smith, who scored his 27th hundred on Friday, said that he will wait and see what decision is made.

“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.

Smith’s 131 helped Australia in posting a decent total of 338 in the first innings. India rode on a half century from Shubman Gill to post 98/2 before the end of play on Day 2. Gill was dismissed for 50, but Cheteshwara Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane ensured that there are no more blemishes on India batting order.

Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city, is scheduled to host the match from January 15, eight days after the state imposed the lockdown after a hotel quarantine worker was detected with the highly transmissible UK strain of COVID-19.

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Smith’s views came a day after the BCCI sought relaxation in Brisbane’s hard quarantine protocol.

In a letter to Cricket Australia, the BCCI reminded the host board that the visitors are done with the strict isolation that was agreed upon at the beginning of the tour.While Cricket Australia were ready to allow a capacity crowd of 36,000, the fluid health situation might warrant a change in the spectator policy.

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