Vodafone Test Series v India
Adelaide Test boost with lockdown lifted
South Australia's coronavirus lockdown set to come to an end this weekend, raising hopes the first Test between Australia and India will go ahead as scheduled
20 November 2020, 03:03 PM AEST
Adelaide's chances of hosting the first Vodafone Test against India have received a timely boost with South Australia's lockdown set to be lifted tomorrow.
Next month's day-night Test had looked in some jeopardy following South Australia's COVID cluster, with the state's chief public health officer admitting this week there was no guarantee they could host.
That prompted some belief that either Sydney or Melbourne could step up if required, in what would likely still be a pink-ball fixture.
But Friday's news of the easing of restrictions from midnight Saturday will go a long way to allaying those concerns over the December 17 fixture.
Cricket Australia have remained committed to the opening Test of the summer at Adelaide Oval, and have not deviated from those plans.
The opening of Victoria's border, which was shut for just two days initially on Thursday, will also be crucial to that.
South Australia’s police commissioner Grant Stevens indicated today that if the latest cluster in Adelaide could be contained as hoped, the border restrictions with Victoria might be eased from December 1.
SA recorded three new COVID19 cases today, with all of them people who are isolated in medi-hotel quarantine.
Adelaide is widely considered the best cricket wicket in the country, while it's surface is also considered the most suitable for the pink ball.
Meanwhile South Australia's only Test player insists his dash out of Adelaide won't hurt his preparations, with adaptability to be as important as cover drives this summer.
Travis Head made the move to NSW's north coast on Tuesday, along with the entire Adelaide strikers squad and other Adelaide based Big Bash players.
He will continue his preparations in Coffs Harbour, before heading to Sydney for a series of Australia A matches before the first Test.
"You have to be adaptable, that's the main focus of the summer," Head said.
"We were on a golf course three days ago and now we're in Coffs.
"We have already come out of one bubble so we have experienced that already."
The Adelaide contingent aren't the only group to be on the move this summer.
NSW were forced to head into a Sheffield Shield bubble in Adelaide early last month, amid fears of an outbreak in south-west Sydney.
Victoria's Shield schedule also changed over time, after they were forced to spend two weeks in lockdown when entering South Australia last month.
ODI and Twenty20 players and staff from Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland who were in Adelaide for the Shield bubble have also had to fly to Sydney early this week to avoid a quarantine period.
But Head can at least see the positive of the move, given he'd be in South Australia's hard six-day lockdown if he was still home.
"Leaving was mixed emotions, we didn't realise it was a lockdown," Head said.
"We're very fortunate to be outside ... They got on the front foot and got us out pretty quickly.
"We're very fortunate to be out here training, it's something we wouldn't be able to do in lockdown."
Head hit two centuries in the first two rounds of the Shield, and is the competition's third-leading run-scorer with 455 at an average of 65.
- With Cricket Network
Vodafone Test Series v India 2020-21
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c) (first Test only), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG, 10.30am AEDT
Third Test: January 7-11, SCG, 10.30am AEDT
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT