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'Australia tour won't be easy for India'

Former India coach Greg Chappell says only one tour game before the tough tour could leave the team under-prepared.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Melbourne
UPDATED ON JUL 06, 2007 05:34 PM IST

Former India coach Greg Chappell has said that only one tour game before the first cricket Test could leave the Indian team under-prepared for the tough tour of Australia later this year.

India would get to play only one three-day tour match against Victoria at the Junction Oval from December 20 before the traditional Boxing Day Test against the world champions starting December 26.

However Chappell, who has accepted an invitation from new Australian coach Tim Nielsen to work as an occasional consultant to the national team at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, said it was a reality of modern scheduling that touring sides got limited time to adjust to the extra bounce and pace of Australian pitches.

"The more time you've got the better, but programmes in modern cricket just don't allow for it and international cricketers are used to it," Chappell, who resigned as the Indian coach after the World Cup, said.

Sri Lanka, who too will tour Australia later this year, would also play just one game against Queensland before its first Test in November.

"If you had a month and you could play four games, that would be perfect, but the modern programmes don't allow for it. That's the way it is, so the players just have to adjust as quickly as they can," Chappell was quoteed as saying by The Age on Friday.

Indian skipper Rahul Dravid had asked BCCI to arrange three games before the first Test but was told that, as professionals, he and his players should be able to adapt.

It is generally accepted that the adjustment from slow and low subcontinental pitches to Australian ones that traditionally generate steepling bounce is more difficult than the other way around.

No touring side has beaten Australia in a Test series at home since the West Indies in 1992-93, and poor preparation is often blamed when things go awry in the early stages of a tour.

India is arriving late in the Aussie summer because of its commitments against Pakistan, and will be in the country for more than 70 days to play four Tests, a Twenty20 international and a triangular one-day series.

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