The opening Test against India can be a red-ball contest in Brisbane instead of a pink-ball game in Adelaide in the event a venue change is required due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in South Australia, fast bowler Josh Hazlewood hinted on Wednesday. Hazlewood said his teammates wouldn’t mind the Gabba as a back-up venue though he still expects the game to go ahead as scheduled in Adelaide from December 17 to 21.
“The longer we wait, the hotter it gets up there, so the quicks would all be happy to get that game done in December,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “We obviously have a really good record up there (Brisbane) and it’s a great place to start.” Adelaide has been grappling with rising COVID cases for the past few days, forcing South Australia to announce a six-day lockdown while rasing doubts over the feasibility of hosting the opening game of the four-match series in the city.
The day-night Test is scheduled to start on December 17, with Hazlewood and teammates slated to arrive in Adelaide on December 9 after the limited overs engagements against the visiting Indians. Even though it is exploring other avenues, Cricket Australia remains committed to hosting the opener at Adelaide. Traditionally, Brisbane has always hosted the opening Test of the Australian summer. The 29-year-old Hazlewood also said the pink ball should not be used anywhere other than Adelaide during the series.
“He (curator Damian Hough) has got the wicket perfect at Adelaide for a pink-ball Test,” Hazlewood said. “A few grounds around Australia are too abrasive or too hard, such as the Gabba or Perth. Those wickets are too hard for a pink ball, it goes quite soft after a certain amount of time.
“Could be red ball (first Test in) Melbourne or Brisbane or somewhere, then we head back to Adelaide later on in the summer. “From all reports (gathered), we are still good for Adelaide but it can always change .. hopefully they can get on top of it in the next week or two.” .