Australia’s head coach said, no need for practice match before India tour
Australia is unlikely to play a warm-up match ahead of the Border Gavaskar Trophy and will arrive in India only a week before the first Test cricket match starting in Nagpur on February 9.
Australia head coach Andrew McDonald believes his strategy of not playing warm-up matches ahead of overseas tours will also work in the four-Test series against India in February-March. Australia is unlikely to play a warm-up match ahead of the Border Gavaskar Trophy and will arrive in India only a week before the first Test cricket match starting in Nagpur on February 9.
Macdonald said that staying fresh mentally and physically is more important than going to India to play practice matches and adjust to the conditions. Australia are aiming to win a series in India for the first time in 19 years. According to ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, McDonald said, “We have adopted a strategy of not playing practice matches in the last few series on overseas tours.” We feel that our team does not need such match practice. We will go to India only a week before the first Test match. We do not want to spend too much time on preparations.
A similar strategy had worked when Australia toured Pakistan in March last year and won the three-match series 1-0. Australia during this time camped in Melbourne on specially prepared pitches and had arrived in Pakistan a week before the first Test in Rawalpindi. McDonald said, “We feel that a week is enough time to prepare and maintain fitness throughout the four-Test series. We had achieved success in Pakistan by doing this. We spent very little time there before the first match.
Australia has planned a three-day camp in Sydney ahead of the tour of India this time for those players who are not playing in the Big Bash League. Macdonald said, “We can create our own conditions. We did this in the past before the tour of Pakistan. We had prepared wickets that suited our objective. “He said,” Working with the local groundsmen really helps us. We feel that we can get more help from this than playing practice matches.
Australia last won the Border Gavaskar Trophy in India in 2004-05 under Adam Gilchrist. They were in a position to win the series by winning the first Test in Pune in 2017 but the Virat Kohli-led Indian team staged a spectacular comeback to clinch the series 2-1. Australia then practiced rigorously for 10 days on specially prepared pitches at the ICC Academy in Dubai. He spent nine days in India before the first Test in Pune. Macdonald indicated that he would take a large team to India.
He hoped that bowling leader Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green would be fully fit before the tour of India. He said, “Yes, I am sure that he (Green) will be fully fit by then. We think he will be ready to play in the first Test. Players like Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Swepson and Todd Murphy could also be included in the squad for the tour.
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