Cricket Aus­tralia open to Shas­tri’s re­quest for ex­tra warm­up games

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Htsportsmax - Press Trust of In­dia sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

Cricket Aus­tralia (CA) has re­sponded pos­i­tively to In­dia coach Ravi Shas­tri’s re­quest for more warm-up matches ahead of their Test se­ries Down Un­der later this year.

In­dia only had one prac­tice match ahead of their re­cent Test se­ries against Eng­land — which they lost 1-4 — and Shas­tri be­lieves his side would be bet­ter pre­pared to tackle Aus­tralia if more red-ball cricket was sched­uled prior to the first Test in Ade­laide start­ing on De­cem­ber 6.

“We are happy to dis­cuss op­tions with the BCCI, but we have not re­ceived any for­mal no­ti­fi­ca­tion to in­crease the num­ber of tour matches prior to their se­ries com­menc­ing in Aus­tralia,” a Cricket Aus­tralia spokesper­son was quoted as say­ing.

In Eng­land, even the lone four­day prac­tice match against county side Es­sex was re­duced to three days amid high drama over the con­di­tion of the pitch and the out­field, both of which ap­par­ently left the vis­i­tors un­happy.

On Thurs­day, Shas­tri said he was not averse to the idea of play­ing prac­tice games.

“Ab­so­lutely not. Why would we be? You can only see the re­sults (in the Eng­land Tests). Ev­ery time af­ter the sec­ond Test we have im­proved. You can still get bet­ter. But why can’t we be in that po­si­tion in the first Test match?,” he was quoted as say­ing by ESP­N­Cricinfo.

Aus­tralia and In­dia are sched­uled to play three T20 matches prior to the Ade­laide Test and Shas­tri said In­dia had “re­quested a cou­ple of (warm-up) games in Aus­tralia be­fore the Test se­ries ”.

In­dia are slated to tour Aus­tralia for three T20 in­ter­na­tion­als, four Test matches and three ODIs from Novem­ber 21 to Jan­uary 18. In­dia were beaten 2-0 in the four­Test se­ries on their last tour of Aus­tralia in 2014-15.

AP

■ Ravi Shas­tri

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