India's disastrous Test series against England, wherein they lost the five-match series 4-1, was much down to their lack of preparation for the red-ball format. Virat Kohli's men played a solo tour game against Essex, that too a three-day match, ahead of the Test series. The fans and critics lashed out at head coach Ravi Shastri and Indian team for the mismanagement of the tour matches.
Now, taking cue from the complaints and criticism, the Indian cricket team has planned to be much better prepared for the Australian tour later this year. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Shastri spoke about the possibility of having the need to play extra matches. He said, "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."
"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 added.
And hearing the plea of Shastri, Cricket Australia seem more than happy to oblige with India's request. A spokesperson of CA was quoted by cricket.com.au as saying, "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."
India will tour Australia for three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs between November 2018 and January 2019. While the shorter format will also be a closely fought affair, it is the longer format which everyone is waiting for. India have never won a Test series in Australia, and the last time they visited the country in 2014, they lost the four-match series 2-0.
As for the hosts, they will be without the services of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, all three serving bans for their role in the ball-tampering saga earlier this year in March against South Africa.
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