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Australia vs India 2020-21: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant To Play Third Test Despite Allegations Of COVID-19 Breach On Them- Reports

Although the five Indian players have become the centre of discussion for the past two days because of the alleged COVID-19 protocol breach, Team India is reluctant to play three out of those players, which include Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini.

After the video of the aforementioned player dining inside a hotel went viral, Cricket Australia stated that they will be isolating themselves from the other member of the team.

The SMH report says that the team management arranged two separate buses from the hotel to the gym so that the five players can travel while maintaining ‘social distancing’ from the rest of the squad. The report also states that Gill even returned in the same bus with his teammates to the hotel, however, the BCCI spokesman said all the necessary precautions were maintained.

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant will be in India’s playing XI:

Australia vs India 2020-21: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant To Play Third Test Despite Allegations Of COVID-19 Breach On Them- Reports 1
Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Getty Images.

However, the reports claim that Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant will be in the playing XI for the third Test.

Although it has still not been confirmed that India had violated the biosecurity or not, CA has said that they are investigating the matter and will take further action accordingly.

“The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols,” the statement by CA said. In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution. This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue,” it added.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Navdeep Singh, an Indian fan, had posted footage of players dining on social media of the group at the restaurant, claiming that he had paid the $118.69 bill for the players. He also claimed that he hugged Pant.

Meanwhile, India will travel to Sydney on January 4 to start practising for the third Test, which is scheduled to begin on January 7.

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Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India To Travel Together To Sydney For Third Test

The hullabaloo around India breaching COVID-19 rules in Melbourne has taken different twists and turns. Cricket Australia, on Saturday, released a statement that the five Indian players will be isolated after a video surfaced showing them eating inside a Melbourne restaurant on New Year’s Day. Following the orders, reports surfaced that those players will also be travelling separately from the Indian squad to Sydney to play the third Test.

However, the recent report from India Today claims that they are indeed travelling together and there was no talk even of the 5 players travelling separately or being left behind. They have also stated that the allegation of violating protocol was unfair to blame and the whole team is committed to being real ambassadors as they have been for 2 months.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India To Travel Together To Sydney For Third Test 2
Image Credit: Twitter.

Meanwhile, those five players are vice-captain Rohit Sharma, fast bowler Navdeep Saini, openers Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Team India to travel to Sydney on January 4:

Australia, India
Image Credit: Twitter

Navaldeep Singh was the Indian cricket fan who tweeted the video of the aforementioned people dining out in a hotel in Melbourne. He also claimed that Pant had hugged him after he paid the bill for them. However, after his tweet went viral and the players were being balmed, he posted another tweet apologizing for the miscommunication and clarifying that Pant didn’t hug him.

Meanwhile, both teams will be reaching Sydney on January 4 after which they will start preparing for the third Test which begins from January 7. The four-match series currently stands level at 1-1 after India bounced back from the Adelaide defeat.

Ajinkya Rahane-led side won the MCG Test by eight wickets. The Third Test will be neck to neck as both the team will be looking to win it to gain the lead.

Image Credit: Twitter.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: BCCI Clears No COVID-19 Protocol Breach By Indian Players

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has bashed all the accusations on Indian players breaching COVID-19 rules after the pick of players eating in a restaurant surfaced. The Indian board has cleared that there is no investigation going as the media is reporting.

According to PTI, a senior official in BCCI stated that the players are well aware of the COVID-19 protocols and a biosecurity breach that has happened while they were in the restaurant. He added that the unauthentic reports are being spread by Australian media after the host faced a humiliating defeat in the second Test match.

A malicious spin by a section of Australian media: BCCI official

Australia vs India 2020-21: BCCI Clears No COVID-19 Protocol Breach By Indian Players 3
Image Credit: Getty Images.

“No, there has been no breach in biosecurity protocols. Everyone associated with the Indian team is well aware of the protocols,” the BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

“We can only term it as a malicious spin by a section of Australian media and this has started after their humiliating defeat,” he added.

The reports have surfaced that Rishabh Pant had hugged an Indian cricket fan in the restaurant, who paid their bill. According to bio-security rules, players are allowed to eat out but they have to follow certain rules. But later, that fan had cleared that there was no such contact with players.

Team India rearing for the third Test:

Australia, India
Image Credit: Twitter

Meanwhile, under the captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane, India crushed Australia by eight wickets in the second Test in Melbourne, making an incredible comeback days after the debacle in the four-match Test series opener in Adelaide.

For the third Test, Rohit Sharma has joined the Test team as the vice-captain. The other two additions to the squad are the inclusion of Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan in place of two experienced premier pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who have been ruled out due to injuries. The third Test will be played in Sydney, which will commence from January 7.

Team India Will Not Be Clear In Their Own Mind When Virat Kohli Goes: Ricky Ponting
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Ricky Ponting Reckons India Will Face Extra Pressure When Virat Kohli Goes

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting reckons Team India has more questions to answer as their regular captain and batting mainstay Virat Kohli will leave them in the midway during the competitive series against Australia in December.

Virat Kohli will miss out last three Test matches to attend the birth of his first child. He will be with the team until the first Test, which will be the first-ever pink ball Test between India and Australia.

Ricky Ponting Reckons India Will Face Extra Pressure When Virat Kohli Goes 4
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.

While speaking to cricket.com.au, Ricky Ponting pointed out that India had an advantage in the last year’s series because Australia’s two star performers David Warner and Steve Smith were absent from the squad. Now, a similar scenario is for India because their massive contributor will be missing and leave a huge gap to fill, adds the former Australian captain.

“The one thing we haven’t spoken enough about is yes India were really good here last time, but with those guys (Smith and Warner) missing at the top of the order, that leaves a big gap in any team.

“India will feel that without Kohli there (for three Tests), for his batting and leadership, that will put all sorts of pressure on different players. You’d think (Ajinkya) Rahane will take over the captaincy, which will put extra pressure on him, and they’ve got to find someone to bat at that really important No.4 spot,” Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au.

Team India Will Not Be Clear In Their Own Mind When Virat Kohli Goes: Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting Reckons India Will Face Extra Pressure When Virat Kohli Goes 5
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.

According to the former Australia skipper, once Kohli goes, India will not be “clear in their own mind” with their batting order even for the first Test – a day-night fixture slated to be played at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.

“I don’t think they’ll be clear in their own mind, even now, what their batting order will look like for the first Test. Who’s going to open, who’ll bat at four when Kohli goes?” said Rikcy Ponting.

While Australia is debating over youngsters Will Pucovski and Cameron Green’s inclusion, Ricky Ponting believes India has more questions to answer.

“(Fast bowlers Mohammad) Shami, Jasprit Bumrah – will it be Ishant (Sharma), with it be Umesh Yadav, will it be a young guy like (Navdeep) Saini or (Mohammad) Siraj? The questions that are being asked around Australia with (Will) Pucovski and (Cameron) Green, I think India have got a few more questions to answer,” he added. 

Virat Kohli will be part of the white-ball series, comprising of three-match ODI as well three-match T20I series which will be played before the Test series.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Reportedly Set To Begin On January 10
BCCI. Image Credit: Twitter.
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MPL Sports New Sponsor Of Team India’s Kit, Confirms BCCI

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signed three years deal with MPL sports as the new kit sponsor and official merchandise partner for the Indian Cricket Team. Earlier, Sports brand Nike was the sponsor of India’s kit.

On Tuesday, BCCI announced that the association of MPL Sport will begin from November 2020 and will last until December 2023. As a result, India men’s cricket team will sport the new jersey in the Australia tour scheduled to start from November 27.

We look forward to MPL Sports adding a new chapter to the team’s kit: BCCI President about the new kit sponsor

We are delighted to announce the dawn of a new era for Indian cricket with the appointment of MPL Sports as the kit sponsor for the Indian men’s and women’s national cricket team until 2023. We look forward to MPL Sports adding a new chapter to the team’s kit, and bring Official BCCI licensed merchandise within easy and convenient reach for the billion-plus fans who cheer for Team India,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said. 

Sponsor, Team India, MPL, BCCI
The Indian team. Credits: BCCI Twitter

MPL sports is the daughter company of Moblie Premier League which sells athleisure wear and sports merchandise. Along with India men’s team, the senior women and the Under-19 teams are also a part of the deal for the new kits.

Apart from Team India jerseys, MPL Sports will also sell licensed Team India merchandise. MPL Sports will offer the jerseys and its wide range of Team India merchandise to fans at affordable prices.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohlis men have already started preparation in Sydney for the white-ball and red-ball series.

India tour of Australia 2020-21:

Team India Begins Preparation For Pink Ball Test Against Australia In Dubai
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.

The tour will start with the three-match ODI series followed by three-match T20I series. The first two ODIs will be hosted at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27 and 29 respectively. The final match of the series will be played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 2.

The T20I series, comprising of three-matches, will kick start in Canberra on December 4 with the last two matches being played in Sydney on Dec 6 and 8 respectively.

The most anticipated series, the Border-Gavaskar trophy, will mark the end of the tour. The four-match Test series will start with the Pink Ball Day/Night Test match at Adelaide from December 17. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will host the last three Test matches.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Virat Kohli To Return Home After Playing First Test Against Australia, Confirms BCCI

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the Team India captain and batting mainstay Virat Kohli will not feature in the last three Test matches against Australia in December. He will return home after playing the first Test match under a light in Adelaide. The skipper has taken paternity leave as he is expecting the birth of his first child in January.

Team India will land in Australia on November 12 after the IPL 2020 ends. Both the teams will play the series across all the formats. The tour will inaugurate with the three-match ODI series on November 27. Following this, they will play the three-match T20I series while the Test series will begin from December 17 and the last Test will be played on January 15.

Virat Kohli on paternity leave: BCCI

Virat Kohli ,
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Virat Kohli will be with the team in limited over leg but will leave for India after playing the first Test. As in January, his wife Anushka Sharma is expecting first childbirth, Kohli has decided to not play in the last three matches.

“At the selection committee meeting held on October 26th, 2020, Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide. The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide,” BCCI added.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. Image Credits: BCCI

Virat Kohli is a huge contributor for Team India, missing him in the crucial series is a huge setback. In 12 Tests against Australia, so far, he has amassed 1,274 runs at an average of more than 55 with the help of six hundreds and three fifties. With the Men in Blue eyeing to retain the trophy, his absence is surely going to hurt the team.

Meanwhile, in his absence, Ajinkya Rahane is likely to lead the Test team.

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Sourav Ganguly Explains How Team India Can Dominate In Test Cricket On Foreign Land

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly reckons that the current Test team of India is a good side but dominate across the world, each and every player need to chip in. He stated that India would have to ‘fight hard’ and ‘buckle down’ for the coming Test series against Australia in December.

Until May this year, India was the number test team before Australia took them over. Their ranking went down after Virat Kohli’s men badly lost against New Zealand. Before this tour, they lost tours in England (1-4) and South Africa (1-2). Sourav Ganguly believes in winning in the SENA nations (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia), all the batsmen need to give their best effort.

Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Indian national cricket team
Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

“He (Virat) must sit back and understand that he has to play better away from home. Yes, Australia was a good series that they won (in 2018-19) but they should have done better in South Africa, England (both 2018) and New Zealand (2020),” Sourav Ganguly said on India Today’s program ‘Inspiration’.

“They are a capable side and they must have learned from that. Everyone has to bat well. We lost in England because no one got Test match hundreds apart from Virat Kohli, Pujara, and Pant.”

Everyone has to get together to beat Australia: Sourav Ganguly

Cricketers, Indian Cricketers Who Have Scored Centuries In Both Innings Of A Test Match, Rohit sharma and Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.

To elaborate his point, Sourav Ganguly presented the example of the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won 2-1. Cheteswar Pujara scored over 500 runs while Mayank Agarwal at the top also had a good outing. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant also get the runs for the side. So, he believes when everyone puts the best effort, India can dominate against Australian pacers.

“We won in Australia because Pujara got you 500 runs, Virat got a hundred, Pant got a hundred. That’s how you are going to win the series. Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, and Lyon are good bowlers. They need to fight hard and buckle down. This is a good side and everyone has to get together to beat Australia in Australia,” the former India captain added.

The Test series will begin December 17 with the first match set to take place under lights. The Indian team will land Australia after the completion of the Indian Premier League 2020.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India Demands Ground Staff To Not Touch Pitch Before Start Of Day Two Of Adelaide Test
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Team India Begins Preparation For Pink Ball Test Against Australia In Dubai

Team India Test cricketers — Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari have begun their preparation for the pink ball Test match (against Australia) in Dubai. The squad picked for the Australia tour will fly for Australia soon after the completion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

While speaking to ANI, a source well known of the developments in India’s team management stated that the players have been training in the ICC Academy. Still, they will start the preparation under lights from Friday.

“The team realises they need to prepare for such an intense series and we want to use as much of our time judiciously in Dubai. We will have sessions under lights from today and with the pink ball. Today’s session will be a three-hour session approximately,” the source said.

India tour of Australia
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Even though throwdown specialist Raghu had to skip travelling to the UAE with the rest of the support staff as he is down with coronavirus, the team has another throwdown specialist in Sri Lankan Nuwan Seneviratne. His left-arm throwdowns are something that will help the Indians prepare for the Australian pace unit, which is led by Mitchell Starc.

“Pujara, Vihari, and the rest are currently working with Nuwan in Raghu’s absence. It is unfortunate but you cannot do anything about Raghu testing positive for coronavirus. Looking at the brighter side, Nuwan brings in the left-arm angle and that is a plus as Starc is an integral part of the Australian attack,” the source pointed.

Team India likely to travel from Dubai on November 11:

Team India Begins Preparation For Pink Ball Test Against Australia In Dubai 6
The Indian team. Credits: BCCI Twitter

Team India will enter Australia via Sydney and will follow a 14-day quarantine while will also be allowed to train during that period. The tour will start with the three-match ODI series followed by three-match T20I series. The much-anticipated Test series will begin on December 17 with the day-night Test match in Adelaide.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India Demands Ground Staff To Not Touch Pitch Before Start Of Day Two Of Adelaide Test
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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BCCI Finalise Sponsorship Deal For Team India’s Kit Ahead Of Australia Tour

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally got the sponsor for Team India’s kit before the Men in Blue move to Australia to play bilateral series across the deal. However, the sponsor’s name has not been disclosed, but the board will soon make an official announcement.

According to the report in Hindustan Times, a BCCI official informed that the board had signed three years deal after Nike didn’t renew their contract.

“We have signed a three-year deal. The official announcement will be made very soon,” a BCCI official said on Sunday.

Deal on the base price from BCCI:

Team India
Image Credit: Twitter

Although BCCI has escaped the threat of going to Australia without any jersey sponsor, it is understood that the board had set a base price of R65 lakh per match, a 25 % decrease from the previous deal.

Reportedly, the board has signed the new deal above the base price, but it is comparatively short than the previous deal with Nike.

The sports shoe brand was associated with BCCI for 14 years, but they didn’t show interest to renew the contract. In September, the international sportswear companies like Adidas and Puma had expressed interest but did not submit a bid.

Team India’s two-month-long Australia tour :

India tour of Australia
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.

After the IPL 2020 end, Team India will travel via charted flight from the UAE to Australia on November 12. They will land in Sydney and follow 14-day quarantine during which they will be allowed to practice. The much-anticipated tour will begin with the ODI series followed by the T20I series and concluded with four-match Test series.

Earlier, there were speculations that Cricket Australia might change the traditional venue, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), for the Boxing Day Test because of the rise in cases in state Victoria. Still, the government has granted permission to them permission to host in the iconic ground. Moreover, CA is considering inviting spectators to that match.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Team India Demands Ground Staff To Not Touch Pitch Before Start Of Day Two Of Adelaide Test
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Team India Tour of Australia 2020-21 Full Schedule; MCG To Host Boxing Day Test Match

Since the start of 2020, Team India’s tour of Australia has been the most talking point in cricket. Even during the pandemic, the former and current players of the two countries had passed several comments about the rivalry. But finally, after passing all the hurdles in the way, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA), on Wednesday, have released the schedule of the series across all the formats.

Team India will enter Australia via Sydney and will follow a 14-days quarantine while will also be allowed to train during that period. Indian Team is expected to leave Dubai soon after the completion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on November 10.

“India’s squad will arrive in Sydney on November 12 subject to Australian Border Force travel authorisation and the appropriate departure-approvals. The team will quarantine in Sydney prior to the first match of the series on November 27,” said a Cricket Australia media release.

Team India
Team India. Image Credit: Twitter

The tour will start with the three-match ODI series followed by three-match T20I series. The first two ODI will be hosted at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27 and 29 respectively. The final match of the series will be played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 2.

The T20I series, comprising of three-matches, will kick start in Canberra on December 4 with the last two matches being played in Sydney on Dec 6 and 8 respectively.

And then finally, the most anticipated series, the Border-Gavaskar trophy, will mark the end of the tour. The four-match Test series will start with the Pink Ball Day/Night Test match at Adelaide from December 17. The touring nation will also get two warm-up four-day matches, including a day-night Test match, before the start of the Test series. But the practice matches are also collapsing with the last two T20I matches.

India tour of Australia
Team India. Image Credit: Getty Images.

The second Test match will be played in Melbourne Cricket Ground from Dec 26. Initially, because of the rise of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, the traditional venue was being considered to be excluded. But now, the decline in cases has given the path to Cricket Australia to host the Boxing Day Test at MCG. Moreover, CA’s Interim CEO Nick Hockley has informed that talks are going on with the Victorian State government to allow the spectators.

The third and fourth Test matches will be held in Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and Gabba (January 15).

Team India tour of Australia 2020-21 full schedule

ODIs:
1st ODI: Friday, Nov 27: SCG (D/N)
2nd ODI: Sunday, Nov 29: SCG (D/N)
3rd ODI: Wednesday, Dec 2: Canberra (D/N)

T20I
1st T20: Friday, Dec 4: Canberra (Night)
2nd T20: Sunday, Dec 6 – SCG (Night)
3rd T20: Tuesday, Dec 8 – SCG (Night)

Practice match: Dec 6-8- Drummoyne Oval, Sydney

Practice match: Dec 11-13- Sydney Cricket Ground (D/N)

Test Series
1st Test: Dec 17-21 – Adelaide (Day/Night)
2nd Test: Dec 26-30 – Melbourne
3rd Test: Jan 7-11 – Sydney
4th Test: Jan 15-19 – Brisbane.

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