Australia coaches are gearing up for the potential of completing a rare hat-trick on the subcontinent by looking ahead to next year’s tour of India. Following a two-day break, Andrew McDonald’s team was scheduled to resume training on Monday.
As they stepped up their preparations for Friday’s second Test against Sri Lanka. After ending an 11-year winless streak in Pakistan earlier this year, a victory or draw in Galle will guarantee a second straight series triumph in Asia. However, the Aussies understand, though, that a greater obstacle lies ahead in February.
Only three times in the team’s history have Australia won three straight series in Asia. Australia have not won in India since 2004, while victory there would mark just the third time.
Moreover, none of those streaks have come within the space of 12 months. Greater ramifications will also result from the fact that Australia is clearly in the lead.
And India is third in the series, which is the penultimate one played before the World Test Championship final. In contrast to what is typically expected in Asia, Pakistan provided flatter wickets. With Rawalpindi being a haven for batters and Karachi and Lahore only breaking up later.
While for the first Test against Sri Lanka, Galle was a furious turner, and some Australians said it was the hardest surface they had ever batted on. During the four-test series in India, Australia anticipates a combination of the two situations as well as anything in between.
Thus, it will be an interesting battle as the series next February could yet be vital in the World Test Championship as well.
Assistant coach of Australia Daniel Vettori comments on series against India
“In a lot of ways it’s been nice to have a subcontinent tour of Pakistan, then here [in Sri Lanka] and build towards India,”
assistant coach Daniel Vettori said.
“Conditions will be very different. We will get a lot of variation from venue to venue.”
“You could get anything in between [the pitches in Pakistan and Sri Lanka]. If you play at Mohali it is going to be flat, if you play at Wankhede [in Mumbai] it could turn square like here. You can’t just have one plan.”
On both of the most recent tours, Australia’s hitters have made it a point to match the pace of the game, first playing the long game in Pakistan before picking up the scoring pace in Galle. They want to utilise their crease and be active enough to frighten the spinners regardless of the pace, though.
Additionally important is a renewed willingness to sweep more. In comparison to their 2016 3-0 loss in Sri Lanka, 45.7 percent of Australia’s boundaries in the first Test were either swept or reverse-swept.
“In a lot of ways sweeps can be blocks over here,”
“There have been plans for individuals to use whatever they feel comfortable with, and to be as proactive and brave as they could with it.”
“The guys who do sweep very well tried to emphasise that as much as possible. Alex Carey, I think his first 12 scoring shots were sweeps.”