Australia are in the final stage of its preparation for the upcoming Test series against India as coach Andrew McDonald and Co gear up for the high-voltage clashes. With a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final up for grabs, both teams have come up with special plans and techniques to combat the opposition. Aussies, who sit on top of the pile in the WTC standings have taken an extra step and come up with a masterplan before they board their flight for the sub-continent.
Specially prepared spinning tracks in Sydney
Since there will be no warm-up match for the Aussies during the India tour, plans have been put on the plate to prepare similar conditions for them to get into their gears before the start of the series. A short pre-series camp has been arranged for the Aussie players where the North Sydney Oval curator Kieran Meurant served up the type of surface the head coach McDonald was hoping for during two days of intense training for those not involved in the BBL.
Spin friendly tracks in Sydney?
One pitch on the Bon Andrews Oval, adjacent to the main North Sydney Oval, was sacrificed and scuffed up, alongside having some significant cracks, to try and replicate what is expected to be on offer in India - although nothing can be certain until each Test begins - with SG balls also being used.
Pat Cummins’ men will make their journey from Down Under to Bengaluru next week with the first Test set to begin in Nagpur on February 9. The team will be in the IT City hub for five days before they catch flights to the Orange City of India.
According to reports, the practice pitches in Nagpur for the practice session will have similar touch as the Test pitch to help the visiting side to adapt to the conditions. However, the Aussie coach staff believe that conditions they can control at home are of as much value.
"Kieran has done a fantastic job here with the groundstaff to produce exactly what we want," McDonald said.
"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, so the ground staff have done a fantastic job.
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WTC race going down the wire
Australia will play a four-match Test series against India which kick starts on 9 February at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. The series will have bearings on the World Test Championship (WTC) where both India and Australia are in pole positions to make the final in June while South Africa and Sri Lanka are also in contention with an outside chance if India fail to make the most of the opportunity.