The Indian head coach had hinted in an interview that having a game or two against weaker teams will be fruitful ahead of the big series.
The Indian head coach had hinted in an interview that having a game or two against weaker teams will be fruitful ahead of the big series.

Cricket Australia has responded to Ravi Shastri’s comments about having two or three practice games ahead of the four-match Test series against Australia starting 6 December later this year.

“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 said as reported by cricket.com.au

The Indian head coach had hinted in an interview to ESPN cricinfo that having a game or two against weaker teams will be fruitful ahead of the big series.

Shastri said that the team is not against playing warm-up games and that the management has been asked to organise practice games before the Australia Test series.

“Absolutely not. Why would we be?” Shastri asked. “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? “If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don’t mind because it is a game.”

India played just one practice game against Essex in the lead up to the England series, which they eventually lost 1-4. However, Shastri also noted that with the tight international schedule, it would be tough to find space for the practice games.

“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 (warm-up) games in Australia before the Test series. But is there space (to play those matches)? That is the question,” Shastri had said in the interview.

Immediately following the England series, India are playing the Asia Cup and are set to host West Indies for a full fledged tour that ends on 11 November. India start their tour of Australia with a three-match T20 series starting 21 November.

On the other hand, Australia will be hosting South Africa for three-match ODI series and a lone T20 with a tour match between PM’s XI and South Africa at Canberra starting 31 October.