India coach Ravi Shastri has denied that his team have any sort of distaste for warm-up games after two successive series defeats away from home.
The tourists showed a marked improvement in the third Test of each of their last two away series, in South Africa and India, and on both tours have been criticized for cutting back warm-up games.
India scrapped a Test from their scheduled tour of South Africa but also skipped their warm-ups while in England they shortened their single pre-series warm up game with rumours abounding that the players didn’t like their hotel in Chelmsford.
In an interview with ESPN Cricinfo Shastri said when asked if the team was against warm-up games: “Absolutely not. Why would we be?
“You can only see the results (in the England Tests). 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?”
Shatsri says that India have requested extra warm-up games on their Test tour of Australia at the turn of the year. The coach admits that it may be tough to squash them into the schedule.
“If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don’t mind because it is a game,” Shastri said. “But when you have a schedule as tight as this and when you have a memorandum of understanding that has already been formulated, with a choc-a-bloc calendar, there is very little you can do. Now, we have requested for a couple of (warm-up) games in Australia before the Test series. But is there space (to play those matches)? That is the question.”
Shastri said their was little the players or coaches could do to influence scheduling.
“Ideally we would want two three- or four-day games before a Test series,” Shastri said. “But do you have the time? For example, we have a T20 series in Australia preceding the Test series. There is a 10-day gap before the first Test. These are things that have been approved earlier. It is not in our control.”
India have just ten days between the end of the T20I series against Australia and the first Test which gets underway on December 6.
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