India vs Australia | Final Test in doubt as Indian players refuse to accept quarantine protocols in Brisbane
Melbourne (Australia) | Jagran Sports Desk: The possibility of the fourth and final Test for the Border-Gavaskar trophy series between India and Australia starting at the Gabba in Brisbane is in serious doubt as the Indian team has expressed their reluctance to travel to Queensland.
According to a report by Cricbuzz, the Indian team management has expressed its displeasure over the strict COVID-19 protocols in Queensland and is not ready to accept more restrictions as players are "mentally-exhausted".
Quoting a source, Cricbuzz reported that the Indian players do not want to get themselves restricted in their hotel rooms again as they have already completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine and want to "be treated as anyone else around Australia in terms of freedom of movement".
"If you look at it, we were quarantining for 14 days in Dubai before landing in Sydney and doing so for another 14 days. That means we were in a hard bubble for nearly a month before coming out. What we don't want now is to quarantine again at the end of the tour," Cricbuzz quoted a source as saying.
"We aren't keen on going to Brisbane if it means being stuck in the hotel again, except for going to the ground. Instead, we don't mind being in some other city, playing both Test matches there to complete the series and returning home," the source added.
The development comes just a day after five Indian players -- Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini, Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw -- were put in isolation following their visit to a Melbourne restaurant.
On Saturday, an Indian fan had claimed that he paid the bills of the players at the restaurant and even "hugged" them. However, the fan issued a clarification later and dismissed the reports that he "hugged" them.
Following this, the players were put in isolation and a probe was launched by the BCCI. However, news agency ANI reported that the player didn't breach the COVID-19 protocols and there was no need for any investigation.
"The boys had just gone out to a restaurant to get some food. They followed all the necessary protocols and their temperature was checked and proper sanitisation was done before they sat on the table. There is no need to make an issue out of this. As for the question of a fan being hugged by Pant, the fan himself confessed that he said that out of excitement," the agency quoted a source as saying.
Currently, the Indian team is in Melbourne. They will travel to Sydney on Sunday for the third Test of the series that will begin from January 7.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma