While India and Australia are currently involved in the 3rd Test match in Sydney, started on January 7, the doubts on the feasibility of the 4th Test in Brisbane has reached new heights. To begin with, Team India were never comfortable with the extremely strict quarantine protocols laid out in Brisbane. According to Sports Today, BCCI are resolute against hotel room confinement of players.

While the visiting squad has agreed to other protocol terms, they have asked to be able to mingle in each other’s hotel rooms. The rules in Brisbane demand complete isolation of a player in their own room. The BCCI has been in constant talks with Cricket Australia over the issue and India’s one ask seems non-negotiable.

With a new hard lockdown announced in the Queensland state of Australia, the 4th Test has been put into further down. The lockdown that could be for at least 3 days, starting at 6 PM on Friday and ending at the same time on Monday, was announced as a new COVID-19 case was found in Brisbane. A hotel staff in a quarantine hotel in Brisbane has tested positive the new highly contagious UK variant of the coronavirus.

"We are going to go hard and we are going to go early to do everything we can to stop the spread," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, as quoted by AP.

"This is incredibly serious. We are declaring that Greater Brisbane area a hotspot and I'm also asking my colleagues from other jurisdictions to also declare Greater Brisbane a hotspot until we get through this together," Palaszczuk said.

However, when Annastacia was asked about the 4th Test match between India and Australia, she said: "Still talking...still positive talks at this stage."

Both squads are due to travel to Brisbane on January 12, one day after Brisbane's new hard lockdown is scheduled to end. If Brisbane is out of the equation, the 4th and final Test will be played in Sydney, where the proceedings of the 3rd Test between the teams is underway.

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