October 6, 2020 4:34:48 pm
A number of Australia’s leading test players, including batsman Steve Smith and paceman Pat Cummins, look set to face India in the home series without warming up in the Sheffield Shield due to quarantine restrictions, captain Tim Paine said on Tuesday.
Smith, Cummins, opening batsman David Warner and leading quicks Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson are playing in the Indian Premier League, which runs until the final on Nov. 10.
The opening four-round block of Australia’s domestic Sheffield Shield starts this weekend, with the last match of the block between New South Wales and Victoria starting Nov. 17.
Australia has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for international arrivals to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Paine said there would not be enough time for the IPL players to play Shield cricket ahead of the first India test at the Gabba, which is pencilled in for early-December.
“I wouldn’t have thought so, with restrictions coming back into the country,” the Tasmania skipper told reporters in Hobart on Tuesday.
However, Paine dismissed concerns that they would go into the four-test series against Virat Kohli’s India underprepared.
“These are guys that have transferred from white-ball to red-ball, from test cricket to Twenty20 cricket, within a matter of days,” he added.
“It’s never been an issue and we wouldn’t expect it to be.”
Australia had planned a one-off test against Afghanistan in Perth in November before the India series, but it was postponed last month.
Wicketkeeper Paine will lead Tasmania against Queensland in their first Shield match this weekend and said he had no plans to reduce his workload behind the stumps, having recovered from a hamstring strain.
“I feel like the more I do it, the better my body feels,” he said.
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