Australia head coach Andrew McDonald is confident his team’s “no tour game” policy on overseas tours will serve it well in the four-match Test series in India in February-March. Australia is unlikely to play any tour matches ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It would arrive in India just a week before the first Test, beginning in Nagpur on February 9.
Australia is aiming for its first series win in India in 19 years. “No tour game is something we’ve done in the last few series before embarking on overseas tours,” McDonald was quoted saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We feel as though we don’t need that match practice as such. We’re going to India about a week out from the first game. We didn’t want to press for too much longer in terms of the preparation.”
A similar approach was successful when Australia won a three-match series in Pakistan with a 1-0 margin in March last year.
“We feel as though seven days is ample time to get ready and to make sure we maintain freshness throughout the whole four Test match series,” McDonald said.
“We had some success doing that, going to Pakistan. We had a shortened period on the ground there.″ This time, Australia has planned a three-day camp in Sydney for all players not involved in the Big Bash League finals before embarking on the gruelling tour.
“We can be creative in our own conditions. We’ve done it before with the Pakistan build-up in Melbourne. Dusting up wickets. Fit for purpose.
“Working with the local groundsmen who really help us in and around the country. We feel as though we can get as close to that as possible without necessarily having a practice game.” The Aussies had last won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India under Adam Gilchrist in 2004-05.
In 2017, Australia had come close to winning when it began the tour with a first Test win in Pune, only to go down against the Virat Kohli-led side 1-2.
At that time, Australia had a gruelling 10-day stint on tailor-made pitches at the ICC academy in Dubai before spending nine days in India ahead of the Pune game. Australia head coach further hinted at having a large squad in India with concerns over pace spearhead Mitchell Starc and allrounder Cameron Green’s fitness. “Yeah, I am confident he (Green) will be fit with the time frames I’ve been given... The challenge will be making sure we can be creative in the way he trains to make sure his body is in order.”
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