Australia head coach Andrew McDonald believes tackling slide spin will be a key to his team's success against India in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The men in blue will face the Aussies in the four-match Test series beginning on February 9. According to McDonald, his batters will have to come up with individual methods and techniques to counter the sliding deliveries from the Indian tweakers.
"I think the new ball is the one that creates more of that slide and when the batters do get done on the inside … we're preparing for that (during the preparatory camp in Bengaluru)," McDonald said.
"That slide spin, we'll expect the spinners to bowl early against our opening batters as well with the new ball so all that is taken care of in the training environment, and (batting coach) Diva (Michael Di Venuto) does a fantastic job in preparing.
"The key to success there is to have a clear method and that will be individually based and depending on the conditions we're confronted with," McDonald was quoted.
McDonald said that despite the squad training on their own, there will still be variations in the track offered at Alur and the ones on which Test matches will be played.
"We'll be trying to make sure the batters are clear on their method," said McDonald, adding, "You're never going to get exactly the same as you're going to get in a game, and that's one of the real complexities around preparing for a cricket tour."
The coach, who took over from Justin Langer, said another reason for not playing a tour game in India was to keep players fresh at the back end of the month-long tour.
"We haven't played a tour game, for three years. It's probably not something new to us, put it that way. We value freshness at the back end of the tour. Something we've seen teams go there before and expend a lot of energy at the front end. We feel with the profile of this group, quite an experienced group, quite an experienced batting unit as well, who have been there before, I think 11 out of the squad has been there before," he added.
He said the strategy would be to prepare a blueprint while training in Bengaluru and replicate it in Nagpur during the first Test.
"(We'll) get a bit more control in Bangalore to replicate what we're going to come up against and then we go into Nagpur fresh and hopefully it pays dividends at the back end."
Full squads -
India’s Test squad for the first two Tests against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.
Australia Test squad for tour of India: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
(Inputs from PTI)