Brisbane (Australia) | Jagran Sports Desk: A fresh lockdown in Brisbane has cast doubts over the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Test series between India and Australia. The lockdown, which will begin from Friday and continue till Monday, has been imposed in wake of the mutant strain of COVID-19 in Australia's third largest city.

"If we do not do this now, it could end up being a 30-day lockdown... I know this is going to be tough on businesses over the next few days but I am thinking about your long-term future as well. So it is incredibly important that we take these strong measures," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, as reported by news agency ANI.

This comes days after the Indian team expressed its anguish over the strict quarantine protocols in Brisbane, where the fourth Test is slated to begin from January 15.

The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has requested the Cricket Australia (CA) to ease the quarantine norms. Media reports suggest that the BCCI has told CA that the Indian team will not be able to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test "if they will have to undergo another round of hard quarantine".

Reports suggest that the players had cited it was becoming "too stressful" to be restricted to the team hotels.

'Not at all annoyed by strict quarantine rules'

Meanwhile, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane has said that the team is not "annoyed" by the strict quarantine rules but noted that it is a challenge for the team to be locked inside the team hotel while "witnessing people in Sydney carry on with normal life outside".

"We are not at all annoyed. We are here to play cricket. That is our priority...Being in quarantine has its own challenges. But as a team we are just focusing on the game. We know that outside life in Sydney is pretty normal but the players are we are in quarantine. That is a challenge. We have to face it. As a team we are focusing on the tomorrow's game, not complaining about anything," he said.

Currently, the the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar series between India and Australia is underway at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The fourth and final game of the series will be played at The Gabba in Brisbane from January 15.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma