Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Australia practice on doctored pitches to negate India’s spin threat

The picture of the doctored pitch from the Australian camp for four days at Alur as part of their preparation for the upcoming four-match test series against India took over cricket social media on Friday.

Courtesy of Australia head coach Andrew McDonald and spin consultant Daniel Vettori’s association with Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Karnataka Cricket Association (KCA) worked up on three surfaces for the visitors to prepare for the threat to come from the Indian spinners.

It is understood that Australia will train on different sorts of scuffed-up pitches — slow turner, rank-turner, one with variable bounce – to get acclimatized to the conditions that they are likely to encounter in Nagpur, Delhi and Ahmedabad. With Dharamshala’s pitch mostly suited for seamers, it is likely that the teams run into a green pitch, one which is also in place for the Australian players to practice at Alur.

The visitors may have opted not to play any practice games, taking cues from their 2013 tour of India when Australia played two practice matches in Chennai and still ended up getting whitewashed 4-0 – their first against India in a three-or-more match series.

In 2017, in the lone practice match they played against India A, Australia got to face Shahbaz Nadeem in both innings. And despite having K Gowtham, India A used him only in the second innings.

“The last time we went I’m pretty sure we got served up a green top (to practice on) and it was sort of irrelevant. We’re better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can. We’ll wait and see when we hit the ground. I think we’ve made the right decision to not play a tour match,” Australian Vice-captain Steve Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald before the team’s arrival in India.

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