Usman Khawaja recently stated that playing practice games was pointless since the wickets prepared for tour fixtures and actual matches in India were drastically different, Ian Healy, the legendary Australian goalkeeper, has stopped whipping India, claiming that Pat Cummins’ idea of not travelling the subcontinent prior of the Test series was because “we no longer trust” the equipment offered by the host nation.
Australia will not play a tour match ahead of the four-Test Frontier-Gavaskar series, and one of the team’s members, Usman Khawaja, recently stated that there was no need for practice because the pitch was playing for the tour. Preparing for practical tournaments is extremely different in India.
During a press conference early in this month Khawaja stated “Have you ever been pre-tour with us (Australia)? They can be spinning wickets when we play but we go to the practice matches and they are green Gabba-like wickets out there (in India), so what’s the point,”
Healy, who supported Khawaja’s suggestion, suggested that the tour’s spinners be called up in Sydney before of the tour and conform to a replica pitch in India.
On Monday, Healy spoke on SEN Radio. “We’ve gathered our spinners in Sydney for strategic talks (on replica India surfaces) we no longer trust that the requested facilities will be provided for a nation,”
“We’ve been part of this shenanigan too by the way… when we’re over (in England) we spend our time whinging about weakened County teams that England put up as our opposition before the series.”
Healy said he despised the habit of home boards having distinct sets of wickets for tour and practice matches, adding that it amounted to a violation of “trust”.
Healy said “Our focus in cricket has shifted from creating opportunities and experiences for our best up and coming cricketers, now we deny touring teams quality preparation before very highly anticipated series and I don’t like it, It’s disappointing to watch such dismantling of trust between cricket’s nations and it needs to stop.”
Australia’s Test series against India begins on February 9 in Nagpur, and Khawaja recently stated that it would be a “good idea” not to participate in the competition, implying that there is little reason for them. “I think we have finally learned. When I heard we weren’t going to have a practice game I went up to (head coach) Andrew McDonald and said, ‘Good idea’.” Khawaja said.
Australia hasn’t won a Test series in India since 2004/05, and they’re hoping to change that during the forthcoming tour.
Healy also added “Touring teams seem to all struggle these days and here we go again, we’re going to India without a whole lot of Indian practice under our belts, let alone England later in the year where we haven’t won since 2001, In India they’re (Australia) hoping everything will click and the squad freshens up with net practice… our coaching staff are content with this and I’ll trust them for now. I would, however, like to see a tour match between the second and third Test in India… I’d love to see a three-day game so that our seven reserves (in the 18-man squad) we’ve got over there can have a good hit out,”
Healy, on the other hand, believes that a tour match in the middle of the Test series would be a good idea to give the touring party’s seven reserves some match practice.
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