India's squad has landed in Australia on Thursday for a two-month long tour comprising three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests. Most of the players have flown directly from the UAE, where the just-concluded IPL took place. Some of them - like Cheteshwar Pujara, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - have travelled with their immediate families.
The Indian touring group will go into quarantine for two weeks, during which they are allowed to train subject to clearing the Covid-19 testing protocols put in place by Cricket Australia in coordination with the local government. It is understood they will start training from November 14 in Sydney. Most of the players have already been living the bio-bubble life for nearly three months now and they'll be going through its rigours for two more.
Rohit Sharma - who led the Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL title this week - and Ishant Sharma were not a part of the touring party. Rohit, along with Ishant, will be joining the squad only before the Test series starts on December 17. While Rohit is being rested from the limited-overs leg of the tour due to a hamstring injury he got during the IPL, Ishant suffered an abdominal muscle tear that had ruled him out of much of the tournament.
India's captain Virat Kohli will be returning home after the first Test concludes on December 21 in order to attend the birth of his first child. The Australian government's quarantine rules of 14 days - applicable for the entire squad despite flying from a biobubble in the UAE - means it would be very difficult for Kohli to come back to Australia and play any part in the remaining three Tests.
India also remain wary about their Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who missed the last two matches for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL after injuring both his hamstrings. They also had to pull out mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy from their T20I squad after he was learnt to have been suffering from a shoulder injury, with pacer T Natarajan taking his place. Meanwhile, Sanju Samson - who was initially a part of only the T20I squad - was added to the ODI squad as a reserve wicketkeeper.
The tour starts with the first ODI in Sydney on November 27, followed by the three T20Is ending on December 8. But the second and the third T20Is clash with a three-day tour match between Australia A and India A, which begins on December 6. That follows another warm-up fixture starting December 11, before the first Test begins in Adelaide.
The Adelaide Test will also be the first time that India will be playing a day-night Test away from home, with their only pink-ball Test having come against Bangladesh in Kolkata last year. The tour then moves to Melbourne and Sydney - who will be hosting the Boxing Day and New Year's Tests - before concluding on January 19 with the fourth and final Test in Brisbane.
Despite restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia had confirmed that crowds of varying degrees will be allowed to attend each of the fixtures between Australia and India.