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Hard quarantine set to challenge preparation for India and Australia

Players will have seven days to build-up to the series after their hotel isolation

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
A tough preparation awaits the India team and the majority of the Australia squad ahead of their multi-format series which has been moved entirely to Queensland.
The visitors along with those Australian players based in Sydney and Melbourne will begin 14 days hard quarantine on Monday with no exemptions for training meaning two weeks of only being able to do what is possible inside a hotel room.
It impacts 12 of Australia's 18-player squad with only Beth Mooney (Queensland), Molly Strano and Nicola Carey (Tasmania), and Darcie Brown and Tahlia McGrath (South Australia) able to join the team closer to the start of the series.
Georgia Redmayne, who has earned her first call-up for this series, is currently undertaking hotel quarantine following her return from the Hundred in England.
Last season players from Victoria and New South Wales also had to quarantine ahead of playing New Zealand in Brisbane although on that occasion they were allowed to train in small groups at Allan Border Field.
"We're incredibly grateful to the government up here in Queensland for allowing our players in," head coach Matthew Mott said. "We've been really good at quarantining. It's going to be tough for those players especially leading into a Big Bash straight afterwards so looking after them mentally and physically will be really important."
Those in quarantine will be released on September 13 giving them seven days to prepare for the start of the ODI series in Mackay which has been pushed back two days from the original date.
The Australia squad has not been together since the tour of New Zealand in April with various plans for winter camps in Brisbane and Darwin having to be scrapped due to Covid-19 outbreaks.
"It's been a long time coming, unfortunately," Mott said. "It will be great to get everyone back together. I think we've been pretty good with our communication over all the various forums but there's nothing like getting back together."
Earlier this month captain Meg Lanning said that the squad was prepared for any situation and was confident the team would be ready whatever form their build-up took.
"There's an element of the unknown, we haven't been together for quite a long time, haven't had any practice, but to be honest, and we've spoken about this, these days there is no ideal preparation," she said. "You just have to make the most of what's in front of you. You need to call on your experience and trust yourself a lot. That does challenge people but we've dealt with that really well so far and this series will be no different. Whatever preparation we get to do that will be good enough."
In the original schedule for the series, the day-night Test was set for the WACA in Perth bringing with it the potential for pace and bounce and the excitement generated by Australia's group of young quick bowlers including Tayla Vlaeminck, Darcie Brown, Stella Campbell, Annabel Sutherland, and Maitlan Brown.
However, Mott is hopeful that those characteristics won't be lost by the move to the Metricon Stadium which will also host the T20Is that conclude the series in early October. "The pitch from what I've seen in the Big Bash has been exceptional so hopefully get a bit of pace and bounce and bring a couple of our young quicks into the contest," he said.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo