India did well to draw the third Test against Australia, putting in a heroic performance on the final day to ensure they go into the fourth and final Test of the series at Brisbane with the series level. However, the Ajinkya Rahane-led Indian cricket team have a challenge ahead if they are to win or even draw the match as they have a poor record at The Gabba whereas Australia have traditionally excelled at the venue. But before they even enter the field of play, they will have other issues to deal with - including having to endure a hard quarantine at their hotel.
Members of the team are reportedly bothered by the fact that despite the hotel being empty, they have to be confined to their rooms while not training and will not be permitted to use any of the hotel amenities.
"We are locked up in our rooms, have to make our own beds, clean our own toilets. Food is coming from a nearby Indian restaurant which will be given to us on our floor," members of the traveling Indian contingent described the hotel as to The Times of India.
"We can’t move out of the floor that’s been designated to us. The entire hotel is empty, but we can’t use any amenities in the hotel including the swimming pool and the gym. All the cafes and restaurants in the hotel are shut.
"But how is a team – struggling with injuries – expected to recover if basic amenities like pool and gym are not allowed? There’s no other guest in the hotel. It’s empty. Then why can’t the players use the amenities?"
It isn't just the quarantine, but also the incessant coronavirus testing in a city that is currently Covid-19 free that has led to annoyance and a flaring up of the nostrils among certain members of the squad.
"They’ve tested us some 15 to 20 times (swab tests) ever since we’ve arrived here (in November). So much so that the nostrils have flared up. Yesterday we were tested. Two days before that we were tested. A week ago, we were tested. It’s got to the point that it’s nauseating," those in the know told TOI.
The report further added that the Indian team and their management has told the BCCI that it should either be allowed to use the amenities at the hotel and given certain facilities – which has been shared with Cricket Australia (CA) and their Indian counterparts – or be put on a flight back to India at the earliest.
The BCCI has reportedly not been too understanding of the situation and senior members of the board – who are enquiring about their players – have no idea what president Sourav Ganguly & Co. are up to.
"Look at the state of the team. It’s like a hospital ward. And then we expect them to come back and play a full-fledged series against England, then play the IPL, then head to England for a five-Test series, then play the T20 World Cup. Are they humans or machines," BCCI members told the publication.
The final Test of the series begins on Friday (January 15).