Tuesday May 21, 2024

Smith hopes virus-hit Sydney can still host India Test

December 23, 2020

SYDNEY: Talismanic Australia batsman Steve Smith said on Tuesday he would love Sydney to host the new year Test against India as planned, despite the city currently battling a coronavirus outbreak.

“Personally I’d love Sydney to happen, I love playing at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground), it’s my home ground,” Smith said. Australia’s largest city has been virtually sealed off from the largely virus-free rest of the country after a cluster of coronavirus cases were uncovered, raising serious doubts about the third Test which is scheduled to start on January 7.

“I think everyone’s preference here would be to play in Sydney, but we will always be guided by experts,” Smith said.

If the Sydney clash goes ahead, the players could have problems travelling to Brisbane for the final Test a week later after Queensland effectively closed its border to Sydney.

The second Test starts in Melbourne on Boxing Day and back-to-back Tests there could be an option.

Otherwise, they could return to Adelaide, where Australia won the opening Test by eight wickets on Saturday, or host two in a row in Brisbane.

Australia are currently leading the Test series 1-0, after an Indian second-innings batting collapse in Adelaide.

Smith said that victory rested on one of the best performances he had seen from a group of Australian pace bowlers.

“I played a lot of cricket with all three of those fast bowlers and I reckon the length they bowled consistently was as good as I’ve seen,” he said. “The lengths they were hitting were just impeccable.”