Rohit Sharma (C) chats with teammates during a training session at the MCG in Melbourne on Saturday. AFP
Five Indian cricket players currently touring Australia were self-isolating on Saturday after dining inside a Melbourne restaurant put them in potential breach of strict COVID-19 health measures.
The players — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini — are being kept away from the rest of the Indian and Australian squads ahead of the third Test starting in Sydney on Thursday.
The Australian state of Victoria, which contains Melbourne, is currently working to stem a cluster of virus cases tied to a wider outbreak in neighbouring New South Wales.
In response authorities now require all restaurant-goers to dine outdoors and maintain social distancing. The cricketing quintet were filmed inside the restaurant by a fan, who then posted the clip on Twitter.
"The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols," a statement from Cricket Australia said.
"In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution."
Australia won the opening Test in Adelaide by eight wickets, with India levelling the series on Tuesday with an eight wickets win in Melbourne.
The third Test will go ahead in Sydney despite a coronavirus outbreak in the city, with Brisbane holding the final clash as scheduled.
Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, in just his second Test, put on 123 runs for the seventh wicket — a record for India at the Gabba — taking their team from a precarious 186 for seven to 309 before Thakur was bowled by Pat Cummins for an entertaining 67.
It was also Smith’s first century in Australia since December 2017 in a drawn Test against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Though there was a rearguard action from Hardik Pandya, who got his highest ODI score (90 off 76 balls) and added 128 runs for the fifth wicket with opener Shikhar Dhawan (74 off 86), Australia's total of 374 for six wickets in 50 overs.
India, leading 2-1 in the series, struggled to make runs and lost crucial wickets early in the day, including skipper Virat Kohli who failed to score. But Pant put on 113 for the seventh wicket with Sundar to hit back after the England bowlers reduced India to 146 for six at one stage.
The closing ceremony was graced by former Indian cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin, as Chief Guest, Dr M Rafiuddin, Convener, BITS Pilani Sports Festival, Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, Director BPDC, Dr Priti Bajpai, Dean, Student Welfare, and students from various colleges and Media.
The only Thoroughbred race on the card, it was contested by a field of 15 but very few ever managed to land a blow with Bernardo Pinheiro and Rebel Streak setting a decent gallop until Buckell, having pretty much stalked the lead throughout, committed for home entering the short straight.
An unbroken opening century stand by Abid Ali and debutant Abdullah Shafique gave Pakistan a solid platform after bowling out Bangladesh for 330 on day two of the first Test in Chittagong on Saturday.