ESPNCricinfo has reported that the Indian team is likely to start their tour to Australia with an ODI and T20I series before the four-match Test series later in the year. On top of that, reports also suggested that there could be changes to the existing schedule, given the situation in Melbourne.
Whilst a concrete decision has not yet been taken, ESPNCricinfo has reported that India might start their long Australian tour with a limited-overs series - both ODIs and T20Is before the main event later in the year. As per the tentative schedule, India were set to face the Australians in a T20I series before the international World T20 showdown Down Under.
However, ICC postponed the tournament to the next year, which has created this confusion between the two boards. The reports also added that India are keen to make use of this schedule to complete the limited-overs series. The Asian side could travel enlarged squad, comprising both Test specialists and limited-overs players at the same time, making it easier in terms of players quarantine.
“The one big advantage of playing half-a-dozen white-ball matches - T20Is and ODIs - at the front end of the tour will mean no games are lost from the original schedule, after it was expected that the T20Is would be shifted to 2022 alongside the World Cup in the same format,” reported ESPNCricinfo.
Another issue that has crept in for Cricket Australia is the situation in Melbourne. Following a relatively lesser period of COVID-19 infection, the city has become one of the hotspots of the virus, increasing in multitudes every day. This has put the Boxing Day Test under the scanner, given that the conditions aren’t improving.
On top of that, matches being played at lesser venues allows CA to employ a similar bio-secure model, initiated by ECB. Having a limited-overs series before the Test series would allow India to return back to the Asian country for their home series against England.
“Currently, Adelaide is the only venue with an on-site hotel facility, which is meant to open in September. That said, CA, the WACA and the West Australian government are working on scenarios for accommodating players near either the WACA Ground or Perth Stadium,” added ESPNCricinfo.