Steve Smith backs Australia’s decision to skip tour game citing ‘irrelevant Indian pitches’
Ahead of the four-test Border-Gavaskar series, Australia batter Steve Smith stated that his team is likely to be better served by practising independently rather than playing on ‘irrelevant’ Indian pitches.
Citing their experience from last time where they were served green tops and not spinning tracks in the tour games, Australia have chosen not to play a single tour game in India this time around. Australia had lost the series 1-2 when it toured India in 2017. The Pat Cummins-led 18-member squad trained in Sydney on spin-friendly tracks prior to the series and will spend a week in Bengaluru before the first Test begins in Nagpur on February 9.
“We normally have two tour games over in England. This time we don’t have a tour game in India,” Smith said on Monday ahead of the team’s departure to India, reported news.com.au.
“The last time we went (to India) I’m pretty sure we got served up a green top (to practice on) and it was sort of irrelevant. Hopefully, we get really good training facilities where the ball is likely to do what it’s likely to do out in the middle, and we can get our practice in,” said Smith.
According to the report, the Australian team has received assurances that the practice wickets in India will at the very least be similar to what they will encounter during the Test matches. Smith stated that the rigorous nets sessions will help them train better.
“We’re better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can.”
“We’ll wait and see when we hit the ground. I think we’ve made the right decision to not play a tour match. Like I said, last time they dished up a green top for us (in a tour game) and we barely faced any spin, so it’s kind of irrelevant.”
Australian coach Andrew McDonald also backed the decision to skip the tour games in the itinerary and said, “Often (there’s) no real connection between that practice game into the first Test match. We feel as though we can control the surfaces here … and hopefully it pays dividends at the back end.”
Speaking about replicating the Indian conditions in Sydney, he added, “We feel as though out there the surfaces we got are very similar to what we’re going to confront in India which is very difficult to replicate, but we feel as though we’ve got close to that.”