Talismanic Australia batsman Steve Smith said on Tuesday that he would be delighted to see Sydney host the New Years test against India as planned, despite the city currently fighting a coronavirus outbreak. “Personally I would love to see Sydney happen, I love to play at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground), it’s my home ground,” said Smith. Australia’s largest city has been virtually cut off from the largely virus-free rest of the country after a cluster of coronavirus cases was discovered, raising serious doubts about the third test starting January 7.
“I think everyone’s preference here would be to play in Sydney, but we will always be guided by experts,” said Smith.
If the collision continues in Sydney, the players may have trouble traveling to Brisbane for the final Test a week later after Queensland effectively closed the border with Sydney.
The second test begins on Boxing Day in Melbourne and back-to-back testing may be possible.
Otherwise, they could return to Adelaide, where Australia won the opening test with eight wickets on Saturday, or host two in a row in Brisbane.
Australia currently leads the Test Series 1-0, collapsing after an Indian second innings at Adelaide.
India was thrown out for their record Test low of 36 by Australia’s trio of fast bowlers led by Josh Hazlewood, who took five wickets for eight runs, and Pat Cummins, who took four, backed by Mitchell Starc.
Smith said the win was based on one of the best performances he had seen from a group of Australian bowlers.
“I played a lot of cricket with all three of those fast bowlers and I think the length they bowl consistently was as good as I’ve seen,” he said.
“The lengths they hit were just impeccable.”
Smith declined to be inspired by whether India, which will now be without Virat Kohli, could bounce back in the second test starting Boxing Day in Melbourne.
“Every individual is different – the way they resign, how they feel about the game after it ends,” he said.
Smith said playing a Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was always special.
“It’s kind of a dream come true in a way I think, as a kid I always wanted to play in a Boxing Day Test match, I always remember watching the Boxing Day Tests at home with the family after Christmas.
“When you go out and play on Boxing Day, you kind of get shivers down your spine and the hairs on your neck go up and that’s just a great feeling.”
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