Australia will not play any warm-up matches ahead of Border-Gavaskar Trophy© AFP
Former Indian cricket team batsman Suresh Raina expressed his surprise at Australia’s decision to not play warm-up matches ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The Australian side came to India quite close to the series with the first Test between the two sides starting in Nagpur on February 9. The Australian team decided to practice on turning tracks made specially in Bengaluru and they have even employed Baroda spinner Mahesh Pithiya in an attempt to practice against the challenge posed by Ravichandran Ashwin. However, Raina was not convinced by this new strategy by the visitors.
“I have played practice matches (ahead of Tests) and they are really important. They (Australia) can understand the quality of pitches in India only if they play on them,” Raina told PTI on the sidelines of Mission Olympics Annual Day Meet, organised by Police Families Welfare Society.
Raina is confident that India will do well in the four-Test series and Ravindra Jadeja’s comeback will add fine balance to the squad.
“I am happy with Jadeja’s comeback after a long time,” said the southpaw.
“Our spinners R Ashwin, Axar Patel are doing well. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been in good form and I think we will get to watch an interesting series in the coming days.”
While visiting teams are always welcomed on rank turners during Test matches in the sub-continent, Raina would like to see a track that would hold on for five days.
He however didn’t want to predict the outcome of the series. “Let it begin first. A Test match should be five-day long. I will only comment (on performance) after watching the first day and seeing the focus of players.” Raina is very happy that there is so much competition for places in the national team across formats.
“It is an achievement (that many are worthy of a place in the Indian team). When there is such a competition we will get the best performance from the players.” He also welcomed BCCI’s decision to organise the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL).
“WPL is going to be very beneficial for women cricketers of our country. And it is great that the (women) U-19 team won the World Cup.”
(With PTI inputs)
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