today cricbuzz prediction: Australia prepares for India on specially prepared spinning courts in Sydney

Australia hope that specially prepared pitches at home will help them achieve one of the biggest overseas challenges:
winning a Test series in India which they have not done since 2004.

The squad has traded off a longer build-up on the ground in India – and there won’t be a warm-up match – in favour of a short pre-series camp where the North Sydney Oval curator Kieran Meurant served up the type of surface the head coach Andrew McDonald was hoping for during two days of intense training for those not involved in the BBL.

One pitch on the Bon Andrews Oval, adjacent to the main North Sydney Oval, was scarified 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.

Australia will arrive into Bengaluru where they will be based for five days before heading to Nagpur for the first Test on February 9, and they have been told that the practice wickets will be close enough to the Test pitches to provide value, but one of the reasons for the short build-up is the belief 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. “I feel that the finish we are doing is very similar to what you will encounter in India, which is very difficult to replicate, but we feel we are getting closer.

“Often there is no real connection between this practice match and the first test game. It feels like we have control over the surface here. I’d like to replicate what’s available in and then go fresh to Nagpur and hopefully it pays off in the backend.

“[On pitching in Bangalore] assurances were given. We intend to make it, and most ground staff around the world are very good at getting us what we want. ”

Australia prepared in a similar fashion before heading to Pakistan last year, but instead of spending an extra day on tour, they camped in Melbourne.

“We’ve been through a lot of these scenarios,” he says McDonald. “I think the new ball will create more slide, and the racket is finished on the inside, so be prepared for that.

“We expect the spinners to roll against the opening at-bat early on with new balls, so it’s all handled in the practice environment. The key to success is a clear approach, tailored to the individual and the situation at hand. ”

Ravindra Jadeja, who took eight wickets in his trophy comeback last week, faces a major threat after he took 25 wickets in the 2017 series as a player in the series. Whether it’s Jadeja or Axar Patel, the visiting side has struggled in recent years to contend with India’s twisted left arm.

“We’ve got a similar bowler in Ashton Agar who can help prepare, and also [assistant coach] Dan Vettori, a left-arm thrower,” McDonald said. “We’ll be trying to make sure the batters are clear on their method. It will be an individual method… they’ve got a really good blueprint in some of the Test matches against Sri Lanka in Galle.”

While the senior batters in the squad have not been part of the camp, all the frontline spinners have been together with some very specific training for Nathan Lyon, Agar, Mitchell Swepson and the uncapped Todd Murphy. The quartet have worked on the lines, lengths and release positions, aided by the pre-ordered pitch, and have even got as detailed as discussing field settings.

Another key reason for getting the bowlers into camp was to be able to increase workloads, with those who have been involved in BBL needing to quickly adjust from four-over spells

“Starting to get into that really tactical layer [and] also physical preparation,” McDonald said. “Starting with the fact that they have to bowl heavy overs, of course T20 cannot be transferred to Test Match Cricket.

“It was one of the big challenges. I hear state coaches talking every year about going back from BBL to Shield Cricket and how difficult it is. Everyone understands why we are here now, there are rumors that we will be going to India a little later, but here we are still preparing. I feel like I still have two weeks to prepare for this first test. ”

Leave a Comment