No practice games in Australia tour? Never mind, BCCI has an alternative plan

The cricketing authorities have perhaps taken an important lesson.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja of India celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Shubham Ghosh
Shubham Ghosh

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Hell broke loose in Indian cricket after the national side faced defeats in two consecutive overseas Test series – in South Africa and England – this year. One of the main reasons that were cited for these losses was Team India’s little preparation in alien conditions before they took the home teams on. India played the Proteas in a three-Test series without playing a single practice game and in England, though they played the limited-overs series first, they played only one warm-up game in the longer format. They lost the two series 1-2 and 1-4 respectively.

India have more overseas tours lined up with a twin series against Australia and New Zealand in end 2018 and early 2019. Though the Indian team management has expressed confidence that the side has made improvements despite the defeats, one knows well that more defeats in overseas series would result in a tremendous backlash.

The cricketing authorities have perhaps taken an important lesson and could make a plan to ensure that the Indian batsmen are better prepared to take on Australia in their den in the series starting next month. India have lost their last three tours Down Under and Virat Kohli’s side must ensure that it doesn’t display another meek surrender in the upcoming tour during which it will play three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs.

The Australia series schedule also doesn’t feature any side games and it is too tight for addition of warm-up games in between the T20I and Test series which is starting on December 6.

India Test regulars could tour New Zealand with ‘A’ team

As an alternative arrangement, it is being considered to send some of India’s Test batsmen to New Zealand with the India ‘A’ side ahead of the Australia series. That will not only give them some useful practice in similar conditions but also get some valuable advice from the ‘A’ team coach Rahul Dravid.

“The team management thought limited overs games were good enough to prepare for the test series in England. But that wasn’t enough. Now the New Zealand A tour will be in similar conditions to Australia and Rahul Dravid is more than willing to allow Test regulars space in the India A playing eleven to give them practice time. The batsmen in particular need to make the most of it,” India Today cited a BCCI source as saying.

India are also set to tour New Zealand early next year though the tour doesn’t feature any Test match.

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