A new touch Down Under as India battle Australia amid COVID-19
Team India arrive in Australia for three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests amidst strict COVID protocols; police, guards to supervise quarantine phase
Team India touched down here last night for the highly anticipated two-month tour of Australia (beginning November 27), where they will play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests.
Arriving by a chartered flight from Dubai, the Indian team were escorted by the police all the way to their team hotel in the Sydney Olympic Park area. The Indian team, including their support staff, comprises over 40 personnel and had to be split into three buses to ensure the strict COVID-19 protocols in Australia.
All the squad members will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. The only time the players will be allowed outside the hotel is when they attend training sessions scheduled at the Blacktown International Sports Park, which has also been turned into a bio-secure venue. However, the family members of India's touring party will not be permitted to step out at all.
All members of the Indian squad will need to undergo COVID-19 tests in a day or two. Additionally, there are likely to be one or two more tests during the quarantine period. Team India players will not be allowed to enter any other rooms besides their own for at least the first seven days.
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane with wife Radhika and daughter Aarya; Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara with wife Puja and daughter Aditi. Pic/ Instagram
Australia has some of the strictest COVID-19 security laws in the world and it is learnt that there will be at least two police officers and two private security guards on every floor of the hotel to ensure all regulations laid down by the New South Wales government are followed.
Team India's kits were unloaded onto a separate truck with the assistance of Australian army troops. It is learnt that all the kit bags will be sanitised before being passed on to the individual players.
Some of the Australian players like David Warner, Steven Smith and Pat Cummins among others, who participated in the Indian Premier League, will also be put up in the same hotel but in a separate bio-bubble. These Australian players can only join their national camp on November 22.
India are expected to begin their practice sessions either on Sunday or Monday.
With agency inputs
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