Australia likely to grant India’s request
Cricket Australia (CA) is likely to grant Indian cricket team’s desire to play two practice games prior to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test matches commencing on December 6.
As of now, the tour itinery has India to play only one three-day practice match after the three-match T20I series. But following Indian team management’s formal request to CoA to add another fixture with the existing one, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is understood to have negotiated with their Australian counterparts.
CA, at the moment, are are tweaking the schedule to accommodate another match. This match may take place soon after the third T20I on November 25, or begin on the same day featuring only Test regulars.
Though CA now seems to be okay with BCCI’s request, when it had first emerged, there had been concerns withing the CA that in case the practice fixture runs parallel to the T20I series, India might not play a full-strength side to keep them fresh for the four Tests.
With CA having a new broadcaster coming on board after the end of its four-decade association with Channel Nine, the unease seems to have stemmed primarily. Australia are already missing the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner in their ranks, so their new broadcaster Fox Sports would no way want an Indian team without the big names playing the last T20I match.
“Talks have been positive. There should be an official announcement soon. After the team made a request for another practice match, we had to find a way to slot it in. CA has been extremely helpful in understanding the situation,” said a BCCI official.
India captain Virat Kohli had it saying in the past that he liked to create match-like situations during practice instead. There was some strong logic to back up his thinking as well, as he thought the host boards don’t generally field their best resources, as that benefits the touring side.
Honoring Kohli’s theory, India had earlier cancelled their only practice game in South Africa, and also converted a three-day match against Essex before their Test series in England into a two-day fixture. But now they seem to have moved on from that plan, as these two tours showed that India batsmen take time to acclimatise, considering that they won only after losing their first two matches on both trips.