Brisbane wins hosting rights for India Tests: Virat Kohli’s men to face daunting task if tour goes ahead

The iconic Gabba in Brisbane is all set to host the opening Test of a much-anticipated 4-match Test series against India in December if the tour goes ahead as scheduled in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Brisbane won the hosting rights for the marquee Test, which is now scheduled to be played from December 3. Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney are the other venues that will host the remainder of the Tests in the series which is worth $300 million, according to 7News.

Cricket Australia is set to announce the international schedule for Australia’s 2020-21 season on Friday. As many as 5 international men’s teams are scheduled to tour Down Under if things go as planned amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Notably, Virat Kohli’s men will face a stiff test as Australia have not lost a single match at the Gabba since 1988. India did not play a Test at the Gabba during their tour of 2018-19 in which they went on to create history by winning the Test series 2-1.

India’s woeful record at Australia’s fortress

India will not play at the new Perth Stadium in Perth wherein they lost their only Test during the 2018-19 series.

India have played 6 Tests at the Gabba and have not managed to win even once — 5 defeats and a draw. The last time India played at the Gabba in 2014, Australia clinched a 4-wicket win in what turned out to be MS Dhoni’s final Test series.

Cricket Australia reportedly mulled the idea of organising a 5-Test series but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly said it will not be possible for India to play 5 Tests.

Meanwhile, the 2nd Test, which is likely to be a day-night affair, will be played from December 11 at the Adelaide Oval while Melbourne and Sydney will host their traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s Test, the news report said. India are also slated to play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is but it will all depend on the Covid-19 situation and travel restrictions at that time.

It remains to be seen if spectators will be allowed to the stadiums even if the tour gets a green light from the authorities.

Earlier BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said India are willing to take all the precaution measures, including the 14-day isolation period, to make sure the series is played.

“There is no choice everyone will have to do that. You would want to resume cricket. Two weeks is not that long a lockdown. That would be ideal for any sportsman because when you are in quarantine for such a long period, then going to another country and having a two-week lockdown it would be a good thing to do. We’ll have to see what the norms are post this lockdown,” Dhumal told Sydney Morning Herald.

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