Ahead of India series, Australians get more batting time during quarantine

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Sydney, Nov 24 (IANS) The quarantine ahead of the series against India may have caused concern to Australia players for not being able to meet their families but it has also helped the host’s cause with the players getting get plenty of time for practice and warm-up as they have to come out in smaller groups.

Indian and Australia players, after taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL), arrived in Sydney on November 12 and after clearing their Covid-19 tests, they have been training.

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“It has actually been good for batters like myself to be able to get the time I can in the nets, sort of not have to worry about helping other people with the bat. I have had some good bats (knocks at the nets) the last couple of days, have some more in the next few and be ready to go,” said Australia’s Steve Smith while speaking to the reporters on Tuesday.

Smith has been doing shadow batting in his hotel room. “I have done a bit of shadow batting, copped a few messages last night, saying stop tapping the bat down. But it has been good, because we have had a smaller group than we would normally have for our training sessions.”

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The Australians, who are looking for some relaxation to the rules in quarantine, have voiced their concern over the strict quarantine with David Warner on Monday suggesting that it would be difficult to tour abroad in near future if they have to return from it and do quarantine every time.

Like Warner, Smith too said the players will have to speak to the management as a bubble life is not sustainable for a long period of time.

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“It is pretty different living in the quarantine. It is been pretty strict hotel quarantine with the caveat that we have been able to go and train to keep up our skills…I think it is important that we are able to have conversations with our coaches and general manager just about how we are feeling,” Smith said.

“It is obviously very different living in a sort of bubble life. I don’t think it is sustainable for a long period of time. Mental health is important. Guys had the courage of talking about what they are going through. I think it is important in these times to be able to do that,” he added.

But the number one Test batsman in the world says he prefers to wait for the quarantine to end before passing a judgment.

“I guess we will wait and see what this hub looks like when we get out of quarantine. I guess it is going to be day-by-day process. I think the cases in Australia of Covid are low at the moment. So I think there will be conversations about the need to allow players some freedom around what they can do. And that could change day to day so I guess we will wait and see where that stands. Hopefully we will get some freedom and have coffee and things like that.”

Australia and India are slated to take on each other in three ODIs, three T20Is and four Test matches beginning Friday.



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