Australian skipper Tim Paine invited broadcast and events staff on Friday to make a “small sacrifice” by joining them in a bio-safe bubble and ensuring the third test goes ahead as planned despite a spike in COVID -19 cases in Sydney. Cricket Australia said on Thursday that Melbourne is on standby to host the third test between India and Australia if Sydney’s COVID-19 situation makes it “unsustainable” despite attempts to continue with the original schedule. “It’s not ideal, but it’s a small sacrifice for everyone to get the Sydney Test going … There is no doubt that the New Years Test in Sydney is a big part of the Australian summer,” said Paine on the eve of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
“We have so many guys from Sydney and NSW, so they love to play in front of their home crowd and have their families, so hopefully that can take off.”
Paine urged others to join them, saying that living in a hub isn’t that bad after all. “I know the guys would definitely like to have a few more people in the hub to talk to, I think we’ll get tired of each other. If we get a few more people we can talk to, I think it will be would be good. nice, “he said.
“That’s a decision they will have to make. As I said before, the hub’s life isn’t that bad, it’s not like we’re in jail or anything, it’s still a pretty good way to live. “I don’t think any of us are complaining,” he added.
His bowlers played their part to perfection in the series opener and Paine now expects his batsmen to do the same and inflict more misery on a controversial India in the second Test.
Boxing Day kicks off in Melbourne from Saturday with the hosts leading 1-0 after their big win at Adelaide Oval.
In addition to his bowlers, Paine contributed an invaluable 73 in the first test and was named Man of the Match for helping his team out of trouble.
“There have been few innings as a batsman, maybe few in between where I have had to influence the game. I have been lucky to have such a great squad where our top six normally do the work,” said Paine. said Friday during a virtual press conference prior to the game.
“In the last test it was my turn to get up and whether I go out with 300-400 for five or 70/5, I have work to do.
“My role changes a lot depending on who I’m hitting with and the playing conditions. I have to be flexible. Sometimes it will be my turn to dig in and score runs and that was the case in Adelaide.
“I hope they all come out this week and that we will have a lot more on the plate.”
Matthew Wade (8) may have failed as an opener, but his impromptu pairing with Joe Burns will remain with the MCG as David Warner has yet to return from his groin injury.
There’s no question that Wade would do a great job for us, be it hitting one to seven. We know that. He’s a flexible cricketer, ”said Paine.
The Boxing Day Test normally witnesses a crowd of 80,000, but amid the pandemic, only 30,000 will be admitted to the MCG.
“Sometimes when you see the MCG with 30,000 in it, you’re a little disappointed when you show up, but we’re just lucky to be playing a Boxing Day test at the MCG,” said Paine.
“It’s definitely better than not playing the Boxing Day test at the MCG, so everyone is excited.”
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