Former India batter Suresh Raina is baffled by the Australian team’s decision to opt for simulation training rather than play warm-up games ahead of the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting from 9th February in Nagpur.
The Australian team is currently training in Bengaluru and is practising on rank turners, having summoned little-known Baroda spinner Mahesh Pithiya, whose bowling action resembles Ravichandran Ashwin.
But Raina, one of India’s finest white ball players, feels that Australia might have missed a trick.
“I have played practice matches (ahead of Tests) and they are really important. They (Australia) can understand the quality of pitches in India only if they play on them,” Raina told PTI on the sidelines of the Mission Olympics Annual Day Meet, organised by Police Families Welfare Society.
Raina is confident that India will do well in the four-Test series, and Ravindra Jadeja’s comeback will add balance to the squad.
“I am happy with Jadeja’s comeback after a long time,” said the southpaw.
“Our spinners R Ashwin, Axar Patel are doing well. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been in good form and I think we will get to watch an interesting series in the coming days.” While visiting teams are always welcomed on rank turners during Test matches in the sub-continent, Raina would like to see a track that would hold on for five days.
He, however, didn’t want to predict the outcome of the series. “Let it begin first. A Test match should be five-day long. I will only comment (on performance) after watching the first day and seeing the focus of players.” Raina is very happy that there is so much competition for places in the national team across formats.
“It is an achievement (that many are worthy of a place in the Indian team). When there is such a competition we will get the best performance from the players.” He also welcomed BCCI’s decision to organise the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL).
“WPL is going to be very beneficial for women cricketers of our country. And it is great that the (women) U-19 team won the World Cup,” he added.