Shastri wants practice games for India ahead of Australia tests

(Reuters) – India coach Ravi Shastri has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to schedule practice matches ahead of their test series in Australia this year, but is not sure if additional fixtures can be inserted into a crammed schedule.

India are keen to make amends following a 4-1 test series defeat in England where most of their batsmen struggled against the swinging ball in tough conditions.

“We have requested a couple of (warm-up) games in Australia before the test series. But is there space (to play those matches)? That is the question,” he told ESPNCricinfo.

India had shortened their lone warm-up clash against Essex before the England tests due to the heatwave in Britain.

Media reports had speculated that the quality of the pitch led the BCCI to curtail the match, which Essex denied.

Shastri said he was not averse to the idea of giving India’s batsmen a better chance to adjust to conditions against tour sides Down Under where they play three Twenty20 internationals, four tests and three one-day internationals against Australia starting Nov. 21.

“Why would we be? You can see the results. Every time after the second test we have improved. You can still get better. But why can’t we be in that position in the first test match?” Shastri added. “If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don’t mind because it is a game. But when you have a schedule as tight as this … there is very little you can do… These are things that have been approved earlier.”

India were beaten 2-0 in the four-test series on their last tour of Australia in 2014-15.  

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