David Warner has rejoined the team’s bio-secure bubble, after more than a month away because of injury, which has allowed him to refresh and further prepare for what life on the road will be like away from his young family.
“We know what we are facing. We have been in the bubble, we know what we are going to get so it’s not new to any of us who have been inside these bubbles,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say fortunate enough that I got injured, but I was always going to have that time off as well. A lot of us got that option, to take that rest or not and we knew that was going to upset a fair few people coming from the IPL and missing the first couple of the games here.
“But, at the end of the day, when you are given those opportunities, in my own situation with three kids and my wife, having not seen them, it was a no-brainer to have that time off.”
It doesn’t promise to get any easier for the Australians this year. There is a three-Test tour of South Africa and a corresponding white-ball tour of New Zealand planned for February, then comes, for some, the Indian Premier League, and the inaugural Test championship in London in June, should Australia qualify. There is a busy end to the year, including the Twenty20 World Cup that is slated for India but could yet be moved.
Warner had warned on the eve of the summer that it was going to be “very difficult” for players to endure months and months of hub life, particularly if partners and children were not included, but several will at least have a break once the final Test against India concludes.
“At the end of this, we get a couple of weeks off before the next series if you are not playing BBL. Then from there it is back in the bubble, for how long we don’t know. If a vaccine comes, if we are allowed to have that vaccine, there are a lot of things up in the air. As I said, we know what we are facing,” Warner said.
Vice-captain Pat Cummins said the players had been running out of ideas on how to keep occupied, with catch-ups in the team meeting room to watch the Big Bash League one way they were spending their nights.
“We’ll look after everyone as best we can but the priorities are getting through this series really safely and everyone is desperate to play these last two Tests, so whatever it takes,” Cummins said.
Steve Smith and wife Dani, having not seen each other for more than four months, were reunited for a few days in Melbourne but that will change when the team heads to Sydney on Monday.