File image of Steve Smith©AFP
India and Australia are set to go head-to-head in the upcoming four-Test Border-Gavaskar series, which begins on February 9 in Nagpur. The visitors opted not to play the tour matches ahead of the series, citing the difference in the pitches. Previously, batsman Usman Khawaja supported Australia’s decision, stating that it was a “good idea” not to play tour matches, indicating they are of little use. Now former skipper Steve Smith also offered an explanation for skipping the warm-up games, calling it “a bit irrelevant.”
“Last time we went I’m pretty sure we were served a green top (to practice on) and that was really irrelevant. We better have our own nets and get spinners in and bowl as much as we can. We wait when we hit the ground. I think we made the right decision not to play a tour match,” Daily Telegraph quoted Steve Smith as saying.
Aside from Khawaja and Smith, coach Andrew McDonald stated, “No tour match is something we’ve done in the last couple of series, before embarking on overseas tours. We feel like we don’t need that match practice as such. We'” We are going to India about a week after the first game. We didn’t want to spend too much time preparing,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We have done it before with the build-up of Pakistan in Melbourne. Dusting wickets. Working with the local groundsmen who really help us in and around the country. We feel we can get as close as possible to that without necessarily having an exhibition game,” he added.
Australia haven’t won in India since 2004-05 and the side will be looking forward to what has been dubbed the ‘Final Frontier’.
Next month marks the start of a four-match Test series in India, and spin is expected to play a major role in determining which team will emerge victorious and take home the esteemed Border-Gavaskar trophy and significant ICC World Test Championship points. take home.
(with ANI inputs)
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