Wanting to prepare as well as possible for the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia next month, the Indian team management has opted for a four-day first-class match instead of a three-day practice match.
According to a report in Times of India, the only warm-up match will start on November 28 instead of November 29 which was the initial plan. Report also suggests that the team management is looking at a full work-out in a competitive match situation to try out its bench. It will be more of a workout for the bowlers like Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin who will have no international cricket behind them for a month.
India's preparation for overseas tours has come under heavy scrutiny after two consecutive Test series losses outside Asia. Ahead of the five-Test series in England, India were scheduled to play only one four-day warm-up game against the county side Essex. Notably, the team management had decided to reduce the practice match to three days and fielded all 18 players in it.
Similarly, the world No. 1 Test side were slated to play a two-day warm-up match against South Africa before the first Test. However, the Indian team management had opted out of the practice match and rather conducted their own training sessions.
Meanwhile, the India A side will embark on a tour of three unofficial Tests and as many List A games in New Zealand during the month of November. The first of the three four-day games in New Zealand will likely serve as a warm-up game for the first Test against Australia, slated to be held in Adelaide from December 6.
Under the mentorship of legendary Rahul Dravid, some of the Test specialists featuring in the A side would be looking to adapt their game to the Australian conditions. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Murali Vijay and Parthiv Patel are part of the India A side to play in the first four-day game in New Zealand.