Australian News

Spanish tennis player with coronavirus could be in isolation for at least 14 days from positive test

Tennis players who test positive for coronavirus in hotel quarantine could be in isolation for days after their fellow competitors are free to leave, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer says.

Spanish player Paula Badosa tested positive for COVID-19 on her seventh day of hard quarantine, and has been moved to a health hotel to isolate.

Badosa had previously complained about being subjected to a stricter lockdown after being on a flight with someone who tested positive upon arrival in Melbourne.

She is required to spend at least 10 days in isolation from the date of her positive test, but that could be extended to 14 days if she is found to have the more virulent UK strain of the virus.

The other players who are in hotel quarantine are due to leave at the end of next week.

Spain's Paula Badosa plays a shot against Germany's Laura Siegemund.
Spain’s Paula Badosa tweeted that she’d returned a positive COVID test and has been moved to a health hotel.(AP: Christophe Ena)

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton the extra time in quarantine was “an unfortunate consequence for anyone who becomes a case”.

If Badosa is found to have the UK strain, she will not be released from isolation until at least February 4, leaving her little time to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on February 8.

People need to be symptom-free and meet other clinical criteria to leave the quarantine system, regardless of when they first tested positive.

Sutton defends ‘necessary’ hard quarantine measures

Badosa said in a since-deleted tweet that she had not been expecting to have to isolate, even if there had been a positive result on her plane.

“At the beginning the rule was the positive section of the plane who was with that person had to quarantine. Not the whole plane,” she wrote.

“Not fair to change the rules at the last moment. And to have to stay in a room with no windows and no air.”

Professor Sutton said the approach of quarantining everyone on the three planes where there were positive cases was “entirely appropriate, and that’s been borne out by this.”

“It’s certainly proof that the hard quarantine measures were necessary, you do need to manage each and every case with a great deal of precaution,” he said.

On Friday morning, Badosa tweeted that she was “grateful for being in Australia” and that “quarantine & preventive measures are pivotal right now”.

She maintained she was complaining about “rules that changed overnight”, even though Tennis Australia has said all players were made aware of Victoria’s quarantine rules for close contacts.


Spain’s Royal Tennis Federation (RFET) overnight called for two players to be released from hard quarantine.

The statement said that the RFET “understand” the measures are taken for the good of everyone, but called for the confinement to be “compatible with the mental and physical health of the athletes”.

Premier Daniel Andrews would not say whether crowd allowances at Melbourne Park would change given Victoria’s run of days without a locally acquired case.

“We will always be guided by public health advice and we’ll strive to strike that difficult balance between making sure people can have something that is as close to normal as possible, but it has to be safe,” he said.

“We’re not going to see stadiums that are full, we’re not going to see, if you like, events that essentially pretend that this virus is gone because we desperately want it to.”

“We’ve got a process, we look at venues and events on a case by case basis and that’s served us well.”

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Australian News

Majority of Australian students scored badly in national civics test: ACARA

Most Aussie year 10 students scored badly on a recent national civics test, according to a new report.

With only 38 per cent scoring at or above the proficient standard, the results of the latest National Assessment Program civics and citizenship test were in line with the disappointing scores of the past 15 years.

Since 2004, that benchmark of proficient scores has never been reached by a majority of year 10 students, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said.

Results have varied from 39 per cent in 2004 to 38 per cent in both 2016 and the most recent study, conducted in 2019.

The high mark came in 2010 when 49 per cent of year 10 students scored at or above the proficient standard.

“It is disappointing that the results suggest our next generation isn’t demonstrating a sufficient level of understanding of the significance and history of our democracy and shared values,” ACARA chief David de Carvalho said.

“The proficient standard is set at a ‘challenging but reasonable’ level of achievement, linked to the expectations in the Australian curriculum. The report reveals important insights into students’ understanding and appreciation of democracy, civic processes and institutions, and how they are perceived.”

Year 6 students have fared better than their older peers in every tri-annual survey since 2004. The latest results from 2019 showed 53 per cent of students in that class reached the benchmark.

That’s close to the 15-year average of 52.5 per cent.

In both age brackets, female students fared better than male ones. And children whose parents were senior managers or professionals scored significantly higher than kids whose parents were unskilled labourers or held office, sales or service jobs.

Metropolitan schools also scored higher than regional and remote ones.

The survey also measured schoolchildren’s cultural values, and found around four out of five kids in both age brackets believed learning about Australia’s history was an important attribute of a good citizen.

However, there was a decrease in year 6 students who believed learning what happens in other countries was important to be a good citizen.

There was also a decrease of students in both age brackets who believed good citizens should learn about political issues from the media.

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Australian News

Two Australian Open tennis players test positive but may not have active coronavirus infections, Police Minister says

Ten positive COVID-19 tests have now been recorded among people who have flown to Melbourne for the Australian Open tennis tournament, including two players whose results were confirmed today.

Victoria’s Police Minister, Lisa Neville, said one of those new cases was a player who is in hard lockdown, and authorities believe their infection is not active, but shedding.

Ms Neville said another player and one of their support team have also tested positive and are unable to train until authorities can determine the status of their infections.

“In the meantime, the player, the support person and their bubble — so the other support person and player they’re with — will not be training until we have a final confirmation that they are shedding or that they are positive,” she said.

If they are positive, the player and their support person will go into the health hotel and their training partner and their support person will enter a hard quarantine as close contacts of a confirmed case, Ms Neville said.

The three new cases whose test results were received by the Victorian Government today will be reported in the official coronavirus numbers tomorrow, Ms Neville said.

Earlier, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the hotel quarantine system was working well.

“We’re in our sixth day and so far our numbers have been extremely low and if they are active cases they go straight to the medi-hotel,” he said.

Paramedics this morning responded to a medical emergency at the View Hotel, where many tennis players have been quarantined.

Ambulance Victoria said one person was taken to hospital in a stable condition, but did not reveal whether the person was connected to the tennis.


Player complaints still occupying Tennis Australia’s time

Tennis Australia has devoted considerable time to dealing with a vocal minority of players who have continued to complain about conditions in hotel quarantine.

Spanish player Roberto Bautista Agut issued an apology after he likened conditions in quarantine to being in jail, in a video he said was released without his consent.

In the video, Bautista Agut was critical of the Victorian Government, saying the quarantine arrangements were “a complete disaster”.

He later issued a statement saying it was a private conversation taken out of context and released to the media without his knowledge.


Russian player Yulia Putintseva drew criticism yesterday for an Instagram post in which she was seen holding a protest sign in her hotel room.

Putintseva later continued to complain about cleanliness standards, posting videos of mice in her hotel room.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said Ms Putintseva was moved to a different room in the hotel, and she understood the player had been feeding the mouse.

“We don’t send cleaners into those rooms … so every tennis player needs to clean their own room and change their own bed if they want to do that,” she said.

“I’d just encourage them to minimise interaction with the mice, we will keep doing pest control if we need to, but hopefully that pest control work that was done this week will have fixed the problem.”


Mr Tiley said Tennis Australia had to remind players that their complaints may not be well received in Melbourne.

“We’re doing the best we can to ask the players to be respectful of the Victorian community, who’ve been through a really tough time over four months of a lockdown, and paid significant prices in loss of life and also in jobs,” he said.

“It’s just one of those environments that we have to every single day talk to the players and ask them to respect that position.

“I believe the majority of them are, it’s just a select few that are not there yet.”

British player Johanna Konta spoke up during a conference call with hundreds of players earlier this week, urging them to be mindful of local sentiment and keep their complaints private.

She told Channel Nine that emotions were running high during the first few days of quarantine, and players were simply anxious about how they would perform after two weeks in a hotel room.

“A big part of that frustration for these players will be how well will they be able to perform and I think that just comes along with being a professional athlete and sometimes rationale doesn’t come into it,” she said.

“The reason we are here is to put on a show for the people of Australia, the people of Melbourne, and also the world stage.”

Quarantine bill to be paid in full by Tennis Australia

Ms Neville estimated the cost of quarantining players ahead of the Australian Open would run into the tens of millions of dollars, and said the bill would not be paid by the Government.

Earlier today, Mr Tiley suggested to Melbourne radio station 3AW that the Victorian Government would help out with quarantine costs, but could not say how much they would contribute.

“Well that’s still to be determined — perhaps next week or the week after we’ll know that, whatever the quarantine costs end up being,” he said.

Mr Tiley said Tennis Australia had exhausted its $80 million dollar cash reserve and had taken out a loan to fund the costs associated with player flights and hotel quarantine, but Ms Neville said his claims about taxpayers funding part of the bill were not correct.

“Hotel quarantine for the Australian Open is fully funded by Tennis Australia. I’ve triple-confirmed that again today [after seeing that information], it is fully funded by the Australian Open,” she said.

She said while the Government supported the Australian Open “as an event”, as it does with all big events, the additional cost of the quarantine arrangements was being funded by Tennis Australia.

“The taxpayer is not contributing to the [Australian Open] hotel quarantine program,” she said.

Tennis Australia is yet to reveal whether allowances will be made in its schedule for the 72 players in hard quarantine, but Mr Tiley hinted that could be a possibility.

“I think how we can adjust is what happens in the lead-in events, how many lead-in events we have and when we start and what the schedule is for those players who need more time,” he said.

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Australian News

Calls for Victorian duck hunting ban take off after survey finds most hunters fail bird identification test

A study of Victorian duck shooters has found that only one in five were able to correctly answer questions about identifying protected bird species, raising pressure on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to ban duck hunting ahead of the 2021 season.

The Victorian Game Management Authority (GMA), the independent hunting regulator, will soon give its recommendations to the State Government about how the 2021 season should operate.

Last year, the season was shortened from May to June after dry conditions and bushfires reduced bird populations.

The season was then cut even shorter due to the coronavirus pandemic, as residents were told to stay at home.

In total, around 60,400 ducks were killed, roughly a quarter of the number shot in 2019.

Hunters were allowed to kill seven of the eight game duck species, including the Pacific Black Duck, the Mountain Duck, Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck, Wood Duck and Hardhead.

A ban was placed on killing the Blue-winged Shoveler due to low numbers.

Campaigners say the practice should be outlawed, especially in light of the survey in December that showed 80 per cent of respondents failed a bird identification test.

“It tells both the Government and the Victorian public that duck shooters cannot even do the single basic thing that they claim they are out there to do,” said Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick.

The GMA said that all shooters must score 85 per cent or higher to pass the Waterfowl Identification Test before they are allowed to hunt.

The high failure rate for the December survey would inform future education materials, it said.

In recent years, the GMA has been repeatedly accused of failing to investigate and enforce duck shooting breaches.

In 2018, an internal report found it was “widely perceived” by both shooters and its own staff “to be unable to police [hunting laws] properly or to punish those who break them”.

At the time, the GMA said it took the findings very seriously.

Two hunters standing in wetlands near a lake.
The duck hunting season in Victoria has begun with the regulator being caught in the crossfire, with complaints from hunters and activists.(Supplied: Natalie Kopas)

Internal political push

There are a number of Labor MPs, including senior Cabinet Ministers, who privately want duck shooting for sport banned.

There are also some MPs agitating for a change of Government policy, a position at odds with the party’s leadership.

At Labor’s 2019 state conference, MPs Lizzie Blandthorn and Steve McGhie co-sponsored a successful motion calling for a review of the sport.

“Unfortunately, that review has not been conducted, maybe due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mr McGhie.

“We are fast approaching another duck hunting season and I think that review should be conducted ASAP.”

Senior Labor sources say one of the biggest obstacles to change is Mr Andrews, who continues to back duck shooting.

The Coalition also backs the status quo, but there are also Liberal MPs against the practice.

Brighton MP James Newbury used his maiden speech in 2018 to call for an end to duck hunting.

He said if the Government allowed the season to go ahead this year it would be the same as “handing out free cartridges”.

“My community thinks duck hunting is barbaric and I’d say modern Victoria thinks the same,” Mr Newbury said.

Victorian Minister rules out ban

The GMA has also been accused of using outdated data to justify its decision to hold a truncated 2020 duck shooting season.

The recommendation for a season uses data from the Aerial Survey of Wetland Birds in Eastern Australia (EAWS), jointly conducted by the University of NSW and the NSW Government’s Centre for Ecosystem Science.

“The GMA uses the best available information at the time to make recommendations to government,” GMA chief executive Graeme Ford said.

“As many game duck species are highly mobile and can move across state borders, data on game duck abundance and distribution is considered for eastern Australia, not just Victoria.”

But the Animal Justice Party says the advice looked at the national increase in bird population rather than the decrease in Victoria.

“The GMA authority either deliberately misled or lied by omission to the previous agriculture minister in making recommendations about last year’s duck hunting season,” Mr Meddick said.

New Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said the Government has no plans to ban duck hunting.

“It’s both mine and the GMA’s expectation that hunters abide by the conditions attached to their license, and to act safely and responsibly at all times when hunting,” she said.

Duck hunting is banned in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.

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Australian News

India clinches deserved Test series win over Australia with Gabba triumph in Brisbane

In truth, it happened hours before the miracle victory was clinched by the wicketkeeper who can’t catch and the net bowlers who were 18th, 19th and 20th in line for a spot in the team.

It happened when nobody with a rudimentary understanding of cricket history — nobody with basic common sense — believed that even India, the team that can’t be killed, the team formed from the surviving components of a cricketing car crash, could become the first since 1988 to beat Australia at the Gabba.

The moment that should define India’s courageous retention of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy occurred in the 51st over, halfway through the final day of the summer. Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood unleashed a vicious, angled bouncer, striking Cheteshwar Pujara’s face guard so violently that his helmet nearly did a 360-spin.

It was the 10th head or body blow Pujara had worn for the day — a day on which he would make 56 runs from 211 deliveries but achieve a sporting immortality that isn’t measured in numbers. Earlier, Pat Cummins had struck him in the ribs at full pace — blunt force comparable to a sledgehammer blow — and Pujara had not so much as blinked.

After Hazlewood’s bouncer, Pujara simply called for a new helmet and determinedly sailed on, staring into the middle distance, dismissed only once he’d moved India to the launching pad from which Rishabh Pant would secure one of the great Test victories. Seconds after the clang of leather on metal, the uncaring bowler had snarled: “Did you see that one?”

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara screams in pain as teammate Ajinkya Rahane watches on.
Cheteshwar Pujara was battered and bruised, yet India triumphed at the Gabba.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

The catalyst of all that drama was Pujara’s withdrawal from the crease a moment earlier, when his spell of concentration was broken by the appearance of an insect. It looked like a caper white butterfly, Belenois java — not native to Brisbane but a fixture in recent summers. Locals decried their arrival at first but were soon transfixed by their beauty.

The story of India’s summer is not dissimilar.

They were skittled for 36 and embarrassed in Adelaide, sledged and abused in Sydney, battered and bruised by Australia’s fast bowlers until they’d used almost enough players for two XIs.

Yet with majestic, confounding and utterly compelling cricket they have not just retained the trophy but won it 2-1, gaining admirers all over the world and finally moving Australians from begrudging respect to unconditional applause.


There were heroes throughout the tourists’ line-up. Rookie opener Shubman Gill made a nerveless, almost faultless 91 that confirmed a special talent and set India on its way. His assault on Mitchell Starc altered the mood of the day and Australia never really recovered.

Chaperoning him, Pujara was like a human pinata. Australia’s bowlers wore themselves ragged trying to crack him open. Washington Sundar threw caution to the wind precisely when it was required, inspiring Rishabh Pant and pushing him to greater heights as the quite ridiculous chase reached its most feverish point.

What is left to say about Pant? His undefeated 89 pushed his series aggregate to 274 runs at 68.50. Will it forever banish the debate about what India loses from his sub-par glovework? He probably wishes every Test was played in Australia. Some of his teammates might wish the same.

India's Rishabh Pant raises his arm as he runs while celebrating the winning runs against Australia.
Rishabh Pant (right) rose to the occasion to hit the winning runs.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Australia has far more difficult conversations ahead. One of the primary appeals of Test cricket is its ruthless examination of technique, temperament, strategy and stamina — tests Australia flunked in Brisbane as they had in Sydney.

Starc, a frequent destroyer of less heralded batting line-ups, was an unfortunate avatar. With the series on the line, his job was to aim every delivery of his first spell at the widening cracks of the wearing pitch.

In theory, it should have been a nightmare scenario for Pujara and Gill, the batsmen at the time. In reality it was a far tougher assignment for Starc.

A bowler who struggled all summer to aim accurately within the width and height of three stumps was asked to come around the wicket, avoiding deep footmarks that meant he was delivering the ball an extra yard, push through the pain of a hamstring injury that had reduced his rhythm and pace, on the final day of a punishing series, to hit a target the width of a fingernail.

To the surprise of very few, it didn’t work — neither did basically everything else Tim Paine tried, aside from bringing back Cummins every time he was refreshed enough to bowl again. Nathan Lyon finished his 100th Test stuck on 399 wickets, contemplating his status as only the fourth-best spinner in the series. His was not the only ego to be bruised.


That is not to say India’s task was straightforward. Hazlewood and Cummins bowled with venom. Because Cummins is so handsome and polite, we underestimate what an ordeal he is to face. He bowled magnificently and with unbelievable resilience: 24 overs, 10 maidens, 4-55. But he couldn’t bowl forever.

Australia might well offer the excuse that the bowlers were already worn out. That shouldn’t wash.

All summer they’ve ignored capable benchwarmers in James Pattinson, Michael Neser and Mitchell Swepson. And anyway, a group of battlers with 11 Test wickets between them leading into this match took 10 on day four, when the pitch was in better shape than the final day.

“Did you see that one?” It could be the motto of the summer. Following the penultimate day’s play, no less an authority than Ian Chappell said this was a contest to rank with the classics of 1960/61 and 2005. Chappell is not given to exaggerations. On camera, he doesn’t permit himself such excesses as smiling.

In this case, he’s probably right again. Until the quite stirring conclusion, you could have been convinced that it was merely very good Test cricket.

Firstly, compared to the all-timers, with 34 participants, there was a lack of continuity in line-ups. In 2005, England used only 12 players and Australia 13 — many of them all-time greats. It and the Calypso summer prompted motorcades, open-top bus parties, knighthoods and MBEs.

What honours are available to Ajinkya Rahane’s team? Every one of them should be forthcoming. An initial suggestion: give them the keys to the Gabba.

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Australian News

India beats Australia on last day of Gabba Test, winning Border-Gavaskar Trophy with remarkable run chase

India has scored a famous victory in the Test series against Australia, chasing down 328 on the last day of the final game at the Gabba to win the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

A draw would have been enough to retain the trophy for India, after their historic series victory in 2018/19, but the impressive side went all out and charged home, scoring 51 off the last five overs to win.

Explosive wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who was not picked for the first game, hit the winning runs as he completed a match-winning 89.

Late hitting from Pant and debutant Washington Sundar (22 off 29) saw the depleted tourists home, ending Australia’s unbeaten streak at the ground, which lasted more than 32 years.

As evidence of the spare-parts nature of this team, the win was set up by 91 from rookie opener Shubman Gill, who also was not picked for the series opener and was playing in just his third Test, and veteran Cheteshwar Pujara, who held off the Australian attack with a masterful 56 off 211.

It marks the third straight series win against Australia for India, and two in a row on Australian soil.

India batsman Rishabh Pant swings hard on day five of a Test at the Gabba.
Rishabh Pant kept India in the game in the third Test in Sydney and did the same at the Gabba.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

The day started with a clear objective for Australia — 10 wickets to win the match. A fast start was imperative, and it took only a few overs for Australia to find the first breakthrough when Pat Cummins found the edge of Rohit Sharma’s bat to deliver Tim Paine a simple catch.

But if the hosts thought that first wicket would lead to an avalanche, they were sorely mistaken. Joining Gill at the crease was Pujara, and together the Indian pair set out to defy Australia for the rest of the session.

Pujara was resolute in defence, while Gill played the role of the cautious aggressor. The latter played some fantastic shots, most notably when he uppercut Mitchell Starc for six over third man in the last over of the session.

The solid but steady start brought India into the game, and they carried on in the same vein after lunch. Pujara copped a barrage of short balls and wore several of them on the body — and took a few more on the helmet — but refused to give his wicket away.

Meanwhile Gill continued his attack, and after taking Starc for 20 in one particularly poor over for the out of form quick, the young opener was on track for a first Test century.

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara screams in pain as teammate Ajinkya Rahane watches on.
Cheteshwar Pujara copped an absolute barrage of short balls from the Australian bowling attack.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

His fine innings would fall just short of the milestone though, ended by an edge to Steve Smith at first slip off a relatively straight Nathan Lyon delivery.

That brought Ajinkya Rahane to the crease, and the captain looked to keep India’s momentum going with some assertive strokeplay and aggressive running between wickets.

He raced to 24, but was undone by a Cummins short ball which kept a little low. Rahane’s attempt at a ramp over the slips resulted in nothing more than a simple catch to Paine.

India rolled the dice and brought Pant to the crease early — a clear sign of intent — and he and a battered and bruised Pujara saw India to tea with Australia still needing seven wickets, and India 145 runs for victory.

It wouldn’t have taken long after the tea break for Australia to start getting the flashbacks from Sydney, as Pant and Pujara kept them at bay for over after over.

Matthew Wade, David Warner, Steve Smith and Tim Paine surround Indian batsman Rishabh Pant on day five of the Gabba Test.
Australia got desperate as India’s resistance continued on day five.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Australia lacked urgency, and its tactics were questionable for a team that needed to win the match, but India too looked to be taking its time and not chasing the win with the same purpose it had earlier in the day.

The last hope for the Aussies was the new ball, and in the hands of Cummins, it needed only two balls to provide another twist — Pujara was finally given out lbw, and a batsman’s review showed the ball was clipping the very top of the leg bail.

As the match headed into it’s last hour, Australia thought they had Mayank Agarwal caught behind and lost a review when DRS showed no edge, but disappointment quickly turned to elation for Cummins and Australia when Agarwal drove the next ball to Matthew Wade at cover.

Needing 63 to win off 13 overs, Pant was joined at the crease by debutant Sundar, fresh off a half-century in the first innings, and both boosted the run rate.

Sundar fell with the team needing just 10 runs to win, and Shardul Thakur followed suit with three runs left, but nothing could stop Pant and India’s charge to victory.

See how the day unfolded in our live blog.

Live updates


Australia vs India: Fourth Test at the Gabba

By Dean Bilton

That’s all, folks!


Well that was something, wasn’t it? A day to remember, at the end of a series I think we’ll be talking about for many a year to come. And let’s not forget given everything else going on, we’re probably lucky we even got this series away at all. Good thing we did, hey?

I’m going to sign off the blog here, but there will be plenty more coverage on this incredible result to come. Thank you to everyone who has hopped on board during our cricket blogs during this series, be it for a quick check of the score or for a lengthy conversation during a rain delay. It’s always so much more fun watching the cricket with all of you, especially when the cricket is that good.

Until next time, from me, Jon, Dan and Simon, have a good one.

By Dean Bilton

Ajinkya Rahane speaks

It clearly means a lot. I don’t know how to describe this but I’m extremely proud of the boys.

We just wanted to get close, because we knew Rishabh and Mayank could do it later on.

Taking 20 wickets was the key, which is why we picked five bowlers. All credit to the bowlers, the way they handled the pressure was really good.

After Adelaide we didn’t discuss anything. We just wanted to play our game and show good character. We just wanted to express ourselves as a team. That was the key to the win for us.

Honestly it was hard work hearing Rahane over the top of the Indian fans in the Gabba, who are understandably going bonkers. Rahane signs off by thanking those fans, and by presenting Nathan Lyon with a signed jersey to commemorate his 100th Test match. Now that’s a cricket team right there.

By Dean Bilton

Tim Paine speaks

I’m completely disappointed. In the end we were completely outplayed by a better side in this series.

India turned up today and put their bodies on the line, they kept soldiering on. Full credit to them.

We’ll look back at this, but we have to look forward too because we’ve got a big series against South Africa coming up.

Our bowlers threw everything at them, tried their hearts out, but things didn’t go our way.

By Dean Bilton

Pat Cummins is man of the series

We were discussing this earlier, and there really was no clear stand out for this award, but four wickets today probably swung it in Pat’s favour late.

He really was fantastic across all four Tests. This Australian team has 99 problems, but Pat Cummins definitely isn’t one.


By Dean Bilton

Rishabh Pant is the man of the match

Well deserved. It’s insane to me that he wasn’t picked in Adelaide. He is a special cricketer, one whose rough times you simply have to take because you will eventually get days like today.


By Dean Bilton

So the Indians are currently enjoying a richly-deserved lap of honour. I’m not sure Rishabh Pant has stopped smiling since the ball left his bat that last time.

The Aussies, on the hand, are ashen faced. At some point the conversation will turn to them, and frankly, there ought to be recriminations for Australia after this series. Today especially, Australia was depserately poor.

But that stuff can wait. Right now it’s India’s time. We’ll have presentations very soon, but for now it’s all celebration.


By Dean Bilton

Audience comment by Mandy

Congratulations India! Amazing match. Amazing series. They played so well. They deserve the series win.<br>Gutted for the Aussies, but so impressed with the Indians attitude to the game all series.

Audience comment by Gari

The spirit and skill of the Indian team is unbelivable

Audience comment by Steve

Well done India amazing effort! One for the ages

Audience comment by Old timer

The best thing about that historic test match is that it was a most deserved win. And a deserved series win. Magic stuff !

By Daniel Colasimone

Fabulous Test match



Jim Maxwell calls it:

“This has been a fabulous Test match!

“Even though they looked like they were going to explode with wickets at the end, they hung on.

“Pant was the hero.

“Congratulations to India, who’ve won this game thrillingly, by three wickets.”

By Dean Bilton


Scenes of unrestrained joy on the Gabba, as Rishabh Pant is overcome by emotion and the weight of his achievements today. The Indian players embrace, a team now united by this accomplishment and immortalised in Test cricket history as one of the most remarkable the game has seen.

Truthfully, has there been a better series victory in Test cricket? A more unlikely one? The obstacles this Indian has overcome to pull this off, it just beggars belief. From the shame of Adelaide, to losing their talisman, to injury after injury after injury, all to arrive at the one place no touring team is supposed to be able to win, chasing a total no team at said ground has EVER chased down to win. And yet they won. With style and grace and skill and so much courage.

This is quite special.


By Dean Bilton

4 overs to go – Josh Hazlewood bowling – 10 to win

Surely Pant will just look to do this casually now? Does he even know how to do that?

HE’S HIT IT FOR FOUR! HOW?!? What a shot from Rishabh Pant! He was falling over, lost his balance completely, but STILL managed to get a pull shot away. What’s more, he absolutely creamed it. Away for four, he ends up on his back, he’s one shot away.

IN THE AIR! SURELY OUT?!? No! There’s no fielder at cover! Pant tried to end it with a six, and could so easily have been out. Five to win.

Shardul gets one on his hip, and tucks it easily down to fine leg… for two! Great running again by India, they’ve been wonderful between the wickets all day. Three to get!


A leading edge! Straight up in the air! Straight to Nathan Lyon! Three wickets or three runs, what comes first?

The big question is if the batsmen crossed while that ball was in the air… the answer is yes. So Pant is on strike and Navdeep Saini is protected.

Two balls left in the over.

Miles down the leg side, but not a wide in Test cricket! Clever from Hazlewood. Can he bowl one more dot?


By Dean Bilton

5 overs to go – Nathan Lyon bowling – 15 to win

Pant charges and smacks one through the off side… just a single. Honestly, Pant doesn’t even need to play shots as expansive as that. The field is SO spread, just take ones and twos and start celebrating.

Smacked out to deep point again by Washington. One more.

Swept by Rishabh Pant! There’s acres of space out on the on side, so he casually gets through for three. TEN RUNS TO WIN.


Well I’ve not got a single clue why he did that. It’s just taken a tiny bit of his glove on its way to the off stump too. He has done his job wonderfully here, and deserved to be out there at the end. I doubt it will make much difference to the outcome, but it’s a shame for Washington Sundar.

NOW they’ve brought some fielders in around the bat! In the nick of time.

Shardul Thakur defends the last ball of the over. Four to bowl, 10 to win.

By Daniel Colasimone

India’s momentum unstoppable


Stuart Clark:

“I don’t know how the Australians can stop this energy.”

Jim Maxwell: 

“They certainly need to get one or both of these batsmen out. Because they’re on song.

“They seem to have enormous self belief.”

“We are watching potentially one of the greatest Indian victories of all time.

“There’s no doubt about it.

“The roar of the crowd suggest there are quite a few Indians here.”

By Dean Bilton

6 overs to go – Josh Hazlewood bowling – 24 to win

Josh Hazlewood thrown the ball. Can he do anything to stop this Indian charge?

Pant drops and runs a quick single to cover… AND THERE’S AN OVERTHROW! Make that two for Pant. They can walk this in with singles now.

Turned away to fine leg by Pant… and he gets back for two more! Field completely spread by Australia, as it has been for all of Pant’s innings.

Now just a single to square leg from Pant. 19 to win. Unbelievable.

FOUR LEG BYES! Washington has somehow kicked one OVER the slips cordon for four! I don’t know how he did it, but it doesn’t matter now!

Hazlewood ends the over by screaming one past Washington’s outside edge. No nick though, so another successful over for India ends.

By Dean Bilton

7 overs to go – Nathan Lyon bowling – 39 to win

Pant on strike.

RAMPED! FOUR! IT’S PARTY TIME! What a shot from Rishabh Pant! Falling to his knees, he’s flicked one over where leg slip would have been and earns another four!

What a result this will be for India.

FOUR MORE! The most brutal sweep shot you’ll ever see! India is that close!

Now driven out to deep point for a single. 31 from 39 needed.

FOUR BYES! It’s hit a crack, spun the other way and gone straight through the keeper for another boundary. It’s almost over!

Two more for Washington out to deep cover! 15 from the over, and India is about to pull off one of the greatest Test series victories in the history of the sport. 

By Dean Bilton

8 overs to go – Pat Cummins bowling – 50 to win

50 runs, 48 balls.

Short ball, Pant ducks out of the way.

Single to Pant down to fine leg. They creep ever closer. But one way or another, looks like the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be staying in India.

IN THE AIR! But mid off is deep! Way too deep! It lands a metre or two in front of him!

For two straight days now, I haven’t been able to get my head around the concept that Australia would be at all worried about losing this game.

SIX RUNS! HUUUUUUUUUUUGE! Washington Sundar steps inside a bouncer and hooks Cummins DEEP over fine leg for six runs!

FOUR RUNS! Slashed over the gully for another boundary! Washington getting the job done!

10 runs off the last two balls, and it’s now 39 runs off 42 balls. India should do this!

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Australian News

Australia-India Test series up there with the greats, says Ian Chappell

As the series between Australia and India comes to an end, Test great Ian Chappell has called it one of the best in memory.

The series enters its final day locked at 1-1, with Australia needing to beat India to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and India just requiring a draw.

There have been ebbs and flows across the four matches, with Australia claiming a win in the first Test in Adelaide on the back of an incredible two sessions from its bowlers in dismissing India for 36 in their second innings.

India fought back to comfortably win the Boxing Day Test by eight wickets, before Australia looked to be on course for victory in Sydney before the tourists bravely held on for a draw.

The series has been notable for India’s ability to keep competing despite a terrible run of luck with injuries, and the departure of talismanic captain Virat Kohli after the first Test for the birth of his child.

“It’s been one of the better series,” Chappell said on Grandstand at Stumps on Monday.

“The two best series — 1960-61 Tied Test series and the 2005 Ashes series in England.

“I think they’re the two best and this one’s not far behind.”

Former Australian seamer Stuart Clark said it was fitting the series was going down to the wire.

“It’s a great culmination of what has been an enthralling series, for numerous reasons.”

Chappell identified Pat Cummins as the key bowler for Australia on the final day.

“You figure that Pat Cummins, he’s been the bloke who, when something’s been needed, Pat’s the guy who’s provided it,” he said.

Asked what kind of inspirational speech he would have for the team ahead of play, Chappell had just two words: “Good luck.”

“They’re making speeches. Justin Langer made a speech,” Chappell said before play on Tuesday.

“‘Good luck’, that’s my speech.

“I used to say ‘OK boys, up and at ’em’.

Listen to live coverage of Australia vs India on ABC Sport.

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Australian News

India continue to defy the odds as Australia’s frustration in fourth Test continues

At 3:00pm Brisbane time on Monday, eight members of the Gabba ground staff guarded the perimeter of the pitch covers.

Rain was still falling, but lightly enough that a few of the milling figures adopted the familiar stooped pose, scrolling away on smartphones.

There wasn’t much to do other than check the weather radar and figure out what everyone was saying about an Australian declaration.

The home side led by 276 runs at that point.

Whether it factored into his decision or not, Tim Paine had just witnessed firsthand the unpredictability of the fourth-day surface.

Earlier, there had been murmurs of discontent as Cameron Green took 90 deliveries to eke out 37.

Perhaps they weren’t the quick runs the doctor ordered, but whom among his critics would have happily faced up to 140 kilometre per hour deliveries that reached the batsman at shin height as often as they leapt off the surface towards the ribcage?

Paine has an uncanny ability to win coin tosses but he isn’t clairvoyant, and he’s learned not to underestimate this Indian outfit.

Those pointing out that no team has successfully chased more than 236 in the fourth innings of a Brisbane Test weren’t standing behind the stumps on day five in Sydney — nor, indeed, the latter stages on day three of this game, when a tailender made Australia’s vaunted bowling attack look pedestrian.

Half an hour later, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc returned to the crease and Australia batted on.

Mohammed Siraj continued to bowl like he owned the place — which was a kind of triumph itself, no matter how this game pans out — and ended up with his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.

Australia’s lead was 327 by the time the last wicket fell, and the widening cracks were sending some deliveries at right angles.

That India remains a puncher’s chance of preventing Australian victory is a stunning achievement.

Indian bowler Mohammed Siraj smiles as his teammates approach him after another Test wicket against Australia.
The Indian attack took wickets in bursts on day four.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Australia’s bowlers entered this game with 1033 wickets between them, India just 11.

Taking 20 wasn’t easy, but India’s attack did it on Monday with the swagger of veterans.

Thanks to the obligatory injury to Navdeep Saini, Siraj and Shardul Thakur had to do it all themselves and almost did, taking nine second-innings wickets between them.

Shardul’s match analysis so far is seven wickets and a game-changing 67 with the bat.

If things go wrong for India on day five, Siraj will still leave a hero.

Perhaps the pampered tennis stars who’ve been griping about their lockdown experiences could read his story for a dose of perspective, or imagine Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc firing Kookaburras into their ribs.

Ground staff bring covers onto the field at the Gabba as rain falls
The rain stopped play on day four at the Gabba.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Australia can still take away some positives from a frustrating day.

Pressed into action following a mini-collapse, Green was not visibly daunted by the high-pressure scenario.

Composure has been the hallmark of his debut Test series, and unlike a few of his more senior teammates, he accepts his fate once beaten.

Steve Smith, on the other hand, reviewed a dismissal so clear cut you wonder whether he’ll become the first man to call for DRS when he’s clean bowled.

Marcus Harris and David Warner made the fluent starts Australia has lacked from its openers all summer, although there will only be a place for one of them once Will Pucovski’s shoulder heals.

Marnus Labuschagne could be said to have batted selflessly, moving the game on according to tactical requirements and sacrificing his wicket in the process.

Pat Cummins finally released his shackles.

Yet serious problems remain.

Australia batsman Steve Smith hits a cricket ball into Indian fielder Mayank Agarwal during a Test.
Steve Smith reviewed a clear-cut dismissal.(AAP: Darren England)

What India has exploited all summer — and with an ever-changing line-up, meaning that the trend lies within the home side — is Australia’s frequent and damaging lapses into negative momentum.

The cliche that ‘one brings two’ has held all summer.

On Monday, Australia had these patches again: the first two wickets fell for two runs in the space of six deliveries; three and four fell for nothing within four deliveries.

In the first innings, 3-4 in 14 balls was another sequence.

Recently, the principle applies equally to the bowlers, who are battle-weary and sore, it’s true, but have repeatedly found a holding pattern.

If they bowl as short in the second innings as they did in the first, and spend similarly prolonged periods ignoring the fundamental principle of attacking the stumps, rain will not be their only obstacle on day five.

Perhaps it will be a finale for the more settled members of India’s team.

One of the most arresting sights of this tour occurred three weeks ago in Melbourne, when a member of the Indian coaching staff faced the wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and gently hit balls into his gloves.

It couldn’t be called a training drill, really, because it didn’t replicate anything that would happen in a game.

Not even a B-team junior would bother with a routine so basic.

You watched it and thought, “no wonder this guy can’t catch a cold”.

On Monday, Matthew Wade strangled his first delivery down the leg side and provided Pant with one of his toughest catching chances all summer.

He needed to dive at full stretch, reel it in safely and hold tight as he crashed into the ground.

None of those things are Pant’s strengths.

But against the laws of probability, Pant caught it, yet another defiance of the odds by the team that will not die. Would you bet against them?

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Australian News

Australia sets India 328 to win Gabba Test and Border-Gavaskar series, before rain ends day four

In scenes reminiscent of the last Test in Sydney, Australia will need to take all 10 Indian wickets on day five to win the game, but this time the trophy will be up for grabs and the weather will almost certainly play a part.

After a slower-than-expected fourth day at the Gabba that was twice halted by rain, India can try to chase down the 328-run target to win the game and the series, or they can try to bat out the day for a draw, which would be good enough to tie the series at 1-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Australia, meanwhile, will have to bowl India out to win back bragging rights for the first time since 2015.

The bowlers could have possibly made more inroads into the Indian line-up on day four had there been a bit more urgency in the Australian batting tactics.

An early declaration looked on when the opening pair of David Warner and Marcus Harris came out with an aggressive but controlled approach, hitting four boundaries off the first 16 balls of the day and taking 40 off the first seven overs without ever really getting too agricultural in their strokeplay.

But suddenly wickets started falling. First Harris awkwardly gloved a Shardul Thakur bouncer to Rishabh Pant, and Warner was out just two runs short of a half-century when he was trapped in front by debutant off-spinner Washington Sundar one over later.

Despite the double blow, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith kept the scoring rate high, with 32 runs from four overs, but Labuschagne nicked Mohammed Siraj into the slips after scoring 25 at better than a run a ball.

Australia batsman Steve Smith hits a cricket ball into Indian fielder Mayank Agarwal during a Test.
Australia’s batting tactics left some confused on day four.(AAP: Darren England)

Three balls later, Matthew Wade was out for a duck after edging down the leg side, and Cameron Green had to work with Smith to consolidate and just survive through to lunch, which they did with the lead having ballooned to 182 runs.

Fireworks were expected to come after lunch, but neither batsman managed tee off, with Smith eventually reaching another half-century, only to edge Siraj into the slips on 55.

Captain Tim Paine put on 31 runs with Green before the West Australian nicked off to Shardul Thakur for 37, and Paine (27) joined him soon after as he chased a short ball in trying to boost the run rate.

Rain arrived one over before tea was scheduled, but there was still no declaration coming, despite a healthy 276-run lead.

Instead, Paine sent Cummins and Mitchell Starc back out under lights and the latter was gone for 1 shortly after the resumption.

Even as the lead passed 300 runs and the artificial light took hold as clouds darkened the skies, no declaration came.

Nathan Lyon was eventually dismissed for 13 and Josh Hazlewood for 9 as the Australian innings ended on 294, with a 327-run lead.

But the lack of urgency from Australia’s batting saw them lose a race against the elements, with the rain arriving and forcing the teams from the field just 11 deliveries into the innings, with four runs ticked off the target.

Look back at how the day unfolded in our live blog.

Live updates


Australia vs India: Fourth Test at the Gabba

By Dean Bilton

Play has been abandoned


That’s that for day four! It leaves the Test very nicely poised, with the whole series on the line on the fifth and final day. The only thing that could ruin this is rain, so cross your fingers we get an uninterrupted crack at it tomorrow. All three results are on the table, which is just the way we like it.

We’ll be back for a 9.30am AEST start tomorrow (weather permitting), so make sure you join us then. Thanks for your company today, and have a lovely evening.

By Dean Bilton

Surely the Australian team looking at your radar/paint graphic there would be saying “Oh, dear God no!!”


Sorry, let me fix it…

By Dean Bilton

Bit of rain around, ay?

By Dean Bilton

It’s dark, and it’s not going away any time soon. We apparently need to resume play by 5.30pm Brisbane time (in a little under an hour) or else that’s it. Looking at the radar and the sky, we aren’t going to be getting back on by 5.30pm.


By Dean Bilton

2nd over – Josh Hazlewood to bowl

Australia’s best bowler in this Test. He’s bowling to Shubman Gill.

There’s some swing! Too wide for Gill to need to play at, but still!

He’s finding that Hazlewood line and length already, but Gill is defending well.


By Dean Bilton

1st over – Mitchell Starc gets the brand newy

Righto, we’re going to have a go here. Not sure how much we’ll get in, but every ball is an opportunity for Australia.

Starc to Roshit Sharma. Series on the line. All to play for.

Rohit defends the first ball in at his feet. Bit of shape, but a little too short to really tell.

First ball Starc pitches up doesn’t swing at all. Which is a little concerning.

FOUR RUNS! Now there’s a shot from Rohit Sharma! Just a glorious cover drive, that has gone so quickly to the fence the camera couldn’t keep up. No swing at all from Starc, full and wide.

One over down, four from it.

By Dean Bilton

It’s on its way

Audience comment by Koala55

India can get this with 3 singles every over. Very doable…they don’t even have to be aggressive.

Audience comment by Bruce Russell

I would love to be proven wrong, but I can’t see Australian bowlers taking 10 wickets. I suspect they are mentally and physically exhausted, and this is actually quite a good Indian batting lineup.

Audience comment by Jo

Pleased for Siraj.<br>Now, Aussie bowlers – do your stuff!

By Dean Bilton

76th over – Siraj looking for his own five-fa

Cummins slogs to the man in the deep, and doesn’t take the single. So it’s not REALLY even about runs right now. What is it about, then?

And now they’ve taken a single… oh wait, they want two! But Cummins is sent back! And he nearly gets run out! And all of this is pointless!

FOUR! Hazlewood goes bang through the covers again! Why were they shielding him from the strike?



Hazlewood went the ramp again but actually made proper contact this time and was caught at third man. A lovely moment for Mohammed Siraj though, his first five wicket haul in Test cricket. He’s a little overwhelmed in the moment, which is fair enough given everything he’s been through.

So Australia will get a crack at them now – but for how long? I reckon the rain is no more than 20 minutes away, and when it comes, I think that’s it. If Australia gets a couple of overs in tonight they will be lucky.

By Dean Bilton

Baffling that we’re still batting here. If I was India I wouldn’t even bother trying to bowl Australia out at this stage, every over that ticks by suits them perfectly.


And that’s exactly what India are doing. Just bowling short and/or wide.

By Dean Bilton

75th over – Shardul looking for the five-fa

Ramped away over gully by Hazlewood. There was a third man in, but he didn’t hit it well enough to reach him. Just a single.

Field completely spread for Cummins now, men back everywhere.

A loose short ball there from Shardul. So loose, in fact, it’s called a wide.

Cummins takes a single then denies Hazlewood the chance to take one of his own, as another over ends.

By Dean Bilton

74th over – Siraj to Cummins again

SIX OF THEM! Cleared the front leg and tonked it back over the bowler’s head for six! Onya Patty.

Another well struck drive from Cummins, but mid-off got a finger to that one. Just two.

Eight from the over. The rain remains on the way.

By Dean Bilton

73rd over – Shardul to Lyon


Well there’s probably not much point worrying about a declaration, as it looks like Australia will be all out soon anyway. Lyon just hit that straight to the fielder at cover at about stomach height.

Josh Hazlewood at the crease now. Shardul one away from a five-wicket haul, to go with his fine batting effort.

FOUR! How’s that from the Hoff? No need to move your feet, just throw the hands through it. Fair cover drive that.

So a wicket and a boundary off that over.

By Dean Bilton


By Dean Bilton

72nd over – Siraj bowling again

Cummins hoiks, away to deep square leg for a single.

TOP EDGE FOR SIX! Lyon will take those! Genuine top edge on that pull shot, but it’s flown off the bat and cleared the rope easily.

Now an inside edge from Lyon, away for one more run. The lead is now 307.

Cummins is swinging a bit harder now. Can’t find a gap for love nor money, but the effort is there.

Another massive slog, but no contact at all this time. That’s the over, eight from it.

By Dean Bilton

It wld not surprise me more rain for bris in a while…there’s a fair bit inland at the moment running sth so who knows.


Yes, looking at the radar I reckon we’ll get maybe 30-45 minutes in before the rest of today is washed out.

With that in mind, I’m thinking Australia has no real plan to bowl at all today.

By Dean Bilton

71st over – Shardul to Lyon now

Another tidy little pull shot from Lyon, around the corner for another single.

Lots and lots of short stuff now, reminiscent of what the Indian tail copped yesterday.

Eventually a no ball is called — too many bouncers over head height.

This one fractionally fuller but still pulled away by Cummins, and they run three.

And there’s your over bowled.

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Australian News

Fourth Test between Australia and India could have been played in Perth instead of Brisbane: Dirk Nannes

With just four Tests played over the current Australian summer, ABC Sport commentator Dirk Nannes has questioned why Brisbane was given hosting rights instead of Perth.

The hard-fought series between Australia and India has been played in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, while the new Perth Stadium going without a Test.

The series is going down to the wire at the Gabba, with Australia seeking a win to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India only require a draw.

Nannes said the investment in Perth Stadium and the quality of the cricket played on the grounds meant there was a strong argument to play a match in WA ahead of Brisbane.

“They’ve just put a billion dollars into a stadium and put on a great Test match when they’ve had it there,” he said.

Australia’s superb record at the ‘Gabbatoir’ is often raised as a reason to hold a game there, with the hosts having not lost a Test in Brisbane since 1988/89.

“Or do you pick it on your place that puts on the best product?”

Nannes’s comments about the viability of the Brisbane Test came in the wake of low crowd numbers on day four. The crowd capacity had been limited to 10,000 each day due to coronavirus concerns, but the Monday crowd was a fraction of that.

“There’s only 2,200 people who find it entertaining enough to turn up and watch,” Nannes said.

“I just feel like it’s a trend over the years that people aren’t coming to the Brisbane Test in the numbers that you get elsewhere,” he said, pointing out that it was still school holidays in Queensland.

SCG and MCG have the advantage of consistent dates

Australia batsman David Warner connects with a pull shot at the Gabba against India.
The Test and series are evenly poised.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Fellow commentator Quentin Hull said it was harder for Queenslanders to blank out their diaries for the annual Test, as it wasn’t on a set date.

“Everyone has lower crowds on day four. Aside from Melbourne and Sydney, you aren’t sure when the Test will be played each year,” Hull said.

“Melbourne is always on on Boxing Day. The SCG is always in the New Year.

“This is an event that doesn’t have a set date in the calendar.”

Nannes admitted the Brisbane pitch was of a high standard.

“This is my favourite cricket pitch in the country.

“You need an atmosphere. You need bums on seats in Australia. And the ground is somewhat antiquated.

“I just feel with the amount of investment that has gone into Perth — and you don’t just chase the money — but [also] the quality of cricket Perth has put on in the last few years, they might deserve it.

“This topic generates discussion every year, and it’s always going to be along state lines.”

Both Nannes and Hull agreed they would like to see more Tests played, even if it doesn’t generate the revenue of limited-overs cricket.

In 2019 former Australian batsman Ed Cowan called the Gabba a “concrete bowl”.

“Brisbane is not a great place to watch Test cricket. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, you’re in a concrete bowl,” he said

“There’s nothing great about the Gabba except probably the wicket.”

Listen to live coverage of Australia vs India on ABC Sport.

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