cricket Australia has made it clear that they are open to more tour matches against India, as requested by Indian head coach Ravi Shastri.
In an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Shastri had said that he has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to try and squeeze in a few tour games amidst the busy schedule before the start of the tour in Down Under. However, he was skeptical about the possibilities.
“If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don’t mind because it is a game. But when you have a schedule as tight as this and when you have a memorandum of understanding that has already been formulated, with a choc-a-bloc calendar, there is very little you can do. Now, we have requested for a couple of games in Australia before the Test series. But is there space [to play those matches]? That is the question,” he wondered.
“Ideally we would want two three- or four-day games before a Test series. But do you have the time? For example, we have a T20 series in Australia preceding the Test series. There is a 10-day gap before the first Test. These are things that have been approved earlier. It is not in our control,” he said.
Also read – We have requested for tour games in Australia before Test series: Ravi Shastri
Responding to the same, a CA spokesperson said that they are willing to explore options, but are still waiting for an official notification from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“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,” Cricket.com.au quoted CA spokesperson, as saying.
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India will tour Australia at the end of this year with the two cricketing giants scheduled to play three Twenty20 Internationals, four Tests and three One Day Internationals from November 21 to January 18.
And this time around, Shastri and Co. will look to avoid the mistakes they did before the South Africa and England tour. India’s decision to not play warm-up matches in South Africa and England was severely criticised. India had canceled their lone tour game in South Africa earlier this year while their four-day practice match in England was reduced to three days.
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And the results were there to be seen as the Virat Kohli-led Indian side lost both the series despite putting up a good show.
As of now, India are scheduled to play any practice games before or after the T20 series starts, which will be followed by the four-match Test series, starting on December 6 at the Adelaide Oval.