Australia Test captain Tim Paine said that venues would not be a problem in Australia in case matches need to be shifted for the India series. However, he mentioned that nobody knows how the situation would look like three-four months down the line.
India–Australia are scheduled to play a four-match Test series starting on December 3. The series is expected to gain huge hype and already has started to attract the cricket lovers. Although the situation will tell whether some audience can be allowed in the stadium or not. Tim Paine hopes, “We are hopeful that everywhere we play, come summer time, we’ll be able to have crowds. How big though, we don’t know obviously. It’s a very difficult question to answer because there is so much changing week to week, day to day… that three to four months down the line, we just don’t know what it’s going to look like.”
Paine knows that there will be challenges of playing cricket without the audience and thinks that in case changes required, world-class stadiums in Australia can offer multiple options. “Certainly from a player’s point of view, we want to be playing in front of big crowds. At the best venues and a big day like Boxing Day is something that everyone looks forward to and a big part of that is playing at the MCG.” He added, “So, fingers crossed that things go well enough for us to be able to do that but we are spoilt for choice in Australia, we’ve got some world-class stadiums, so in case something had to change, we’ve plenty of options.”
But the Aussie skipper does not think that absence of crowd will affect players as such. He opined, “I don’t think it (no crowd) should affect anyone. Once you go out there, it very quickly narrows down to what’s happening on the pitch. Most players tend to forget the crowd once they’re in the heat of the battle. So crowd or no crowd, it’ll all boil down to performing and executing your skills better.”
The 35-year-old cricketer explained reporters in the video conference although India were better last time, currently Australians are in a better position. “We certainly struggled against them last time. That said, they (India) played really well. I’m sure we’ve learnt a lot from playing against them last summer… we think we are a better team now than we were then.”