The ongoing Test series is not going India’s way after they were thrashed by the Australian team and beaten by eight wickets in the first Test on Saturday. If this, along with injury and unavailability of certain players was not enough, now the New Year’s Test at Sydney could be scrapped due to the rising Covid-19 cases in New South Wales.
According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, the Sydney Test against India could be shifted to another venue after latest coronavirus outbreak there. It is learnt that Cricket Australia will hold an emergency meeting and a decision will be made soon. That leaves the board with a few options now.
There is a likely border issue getting into Queensland for the final match of the series on January 15. Brisbane could emerge as the likely replacement but it would be difficult to host back-to-back Tests starting from January 7 and January 15. Also reports on Nine surfaced that CA could switch the venues of the third and the fourth Test.
The MCG looks like the most likely option for now. The Victorian government had recently increased the crowd limit to 30,000 for Boxing Day clash at the MCG.
Meanhile, India pacer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series in Australia with a fractured arm. Shami was injured when he was hit by a rising delivery from Pat Cummins in India’s second innings. He was forced to retire hurt, leaving India 36 for 9, their lowest ever Test score. Shami did not bowl in Australia’s second innings as well and was taken to hospital for scans, Following the embarrassing batting display, India lost the match by eight wickets. Mohammed Shami has a fracture and the chances of him taking part in the remaining three Test matches is next to nil,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
He added that Mohammed Siraj, for his impressive show in the two warm-up games, will be in line for a Boxing Day Test debut in Melbourne. The injury to Shami is a huge blow for India, who will be without their original captain Kohli for the rest of the series. Kohli will be returning home for the birth of his first child. India are also without Ishant Sharma for the tour due to fitness reasons. It means India will be heavily reliant on Jasprit Bumrah, with Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj the other pace options. Saini and Siraj are yet to play Test cricket.