Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell feels Australia’s short practice camp in Dubai prior to the Test series in India could confuse the batsmen who are not used to playing on turning pitches.
In a desperate attempt to improve their track record in the subcontinent, the Australian team is set to undergo a training camp in Dubai to get accustomed to conditions before the four-match Test series that begins on February 23 in Pune.
Chappell further wrote that playing in the Indian Premier League is not proving beneficial for the overseas players while playing in Tests in India.
“In theory, overseas players should be more comfortable playing in India rather than becoming increasingly estranged,” Chappell wrote in his column in ESPNCricinfo.
“However, it seems that lessons learned playing T20 bear no relationship to performing in the Test arena. It could also be that Indian teams these days are stronger than those of the past.
“There is no doubt India have a strong batting line-up, but that has been the case for more than two decades. Since the advent of the IPL, India’s fielding (apart from slip catching) and athleticism have improved greatly,” he added.
Writing on Australia’s training camp in Dubai, he said:“All these well-intentioned endeavours may help a little, but in some cases, they could hinder.
He further added that the art of playing spin bowling needs to be learnt from a very early age, rather than practising it on turning pitches for a brief period of time.
“Learning to play spin bowling efficiently starts at a young age, and for someone who is a little unsure, a concentrated stint on turning pitches could lead to confusion,” wrote Chappell. “At the very least, it might result in a player formulating a plan that he discovers doesn’t work under match conditions and he is then left floundering.”
Chappell also warned the Aussie batsmen against going to India with a pre-determined mindset. The visiting batsmen have often resorted to sweep shots to counter the Indian spinners but Chappell advised the batsmen to use their feet in a better manner instead of relying on sweep shots.
“There is an obsession with sweeping, which in all but rare cases is not the way to dominate good spinners who are well captained,” wrote Chappell. “Combating good spinners is about learning the lesson of quick, decisive footwork at a young age, rather than cramming for a difficult exam at the last minute.”