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Australia great accuses India of ‘lies’ and ‘deceit’

ClutchPoints logo: MainLogo ClutchPoints 1/31/2023 Pawan Atri
01/31/2023 © Provided by ClutchPoints 01/31/2023

Ahead of the blockbuster Test series between India and Australia, Ian Healy and Usman Khawaja fired the first shot at the Rohit Sharma-led side. Justifying Australia’s decision to skip tour games in India ahead of the first Test in Nagpur, Ian Healy accused the hosts of “denying quality preparation” to the visitors before the start of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Ian Healy’s comments came after Australian middle-order batter Usman Khawaja’s allegations, where he said that it was meaningless to take part in warm-up games in India because pitches in tour matches differ completely from the ones that will be on display during the four Tests.

“Have you ever been pre-tour with us (Australia)? They can be spinning wickets when we play but we go to the practice matches and they are green Gabba-like wickets out there (in India), so what’s the point,” Usman Khawaja had claimed during a media briefing earlier this month.

Ian Healy backed Usman Khawaja’s allegations on India, saying he had personally experienced such tactics during the tours to the sub-continent when he was an active member of the Australian cricket team.

“We’ve gathered our spinners in Sydney for strategic talks (on replica India surfaces)… we no longer trust that the requested facilities will be provided for a nation,” Ian Healy said on SEN Radio on Monday.

“We’ve been part of this shenanigan too by the way… when we’re over (in England) we spend our time whinging about weakened County teams that England put up as our opposition before the series.”

“Our focus in cricket has shifted from creating opportunities and experiences for our best up and coming cricketers… now we deny touring teams quality preparation before very highly anticipated series and I don’t like it. It’s disappointing to watch such dismantling of trust between cricket’s nations and it needs to stop,” Ian Healy added.

The series between India and Australia is expected to be a tense affair, considering it will decide the two finalists of the World Test Championship. The top two teams in the ICC’s table for the premier competition in whites will take on each other in the title clash in England in June.

In this light, Usman Khawaja hinted that skipping tour games in India was a good idea because they don’t provide quality practice.

“I think we have finally learned. When I heard we weren’t going to have a practice game I went up to (head coach) Andrew McDonald and said, ‘Good idea’,” Usman Khawaja elaborated.

Meanwhile, Ian Healy threw his weight behind Usman Khawaja’s suggestions, declaring that the Australians were much better off preparing in Sydney which is the most spin-friendly wicket Down Under.

“Touring teams seem to all struggle these days and here we go again, we’re going to India without a whole lot of Indian practice under our belts, let alone England later in the year where we haven’t won since 2001,” Ian Healy pointed out.

“In India they’re (Australia) hoping everything will click and the squad freshens up with net practice… our coaching staff are content with this and I’ll trust them for now. I would, however, like to see a tour match between the second and third Test in India… I’d love to see a three-day game so that our seven reserves (in the 18-man squad) we’ve got over there can have a good hit out,” Ian Healy concluded.

Senior Australia batter Steve Smith shared similar sentiments regarding not playing warm-up matches in India.

“We normally have two tour games over in England. This time we don’t have a tour game in India,” Steve Smith told reporters at the Sydney airport before the Pat Cummins-led side’s departure for India. “The last time we went [to India], I’m pretty sure we got served up a green top [in the tour game], and it was sort of irrelevant.”

“Hopefully, we get really good training facilities where the ball is likely to do what it’s likely to do out in the middle, and we can get our practice in. We’ll wait and see when we hit the ground. I think we’ve made the right decision to not play a tour match. We’re better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can,” Steve Smith stated.

Australia last won a Test series in 2004/05, including a 4-0 whitewash to the then-MS Dhoni-led side in 2013.

On the contrary, Team India has dominated them even in Australia, becoming the first Asian side to defeat them 2-1 in a Test series in 2018-19.

The Indian cricket team then made history two years later when a  young team that was missing the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and other senior players beat Australia again with Rishabh Pant, helping them to breach the Gabba fortress.

The post Australia great accuses India of ‘lies’ and ‘deceit’ appeared first on ClutchPoints.


Nish Patel

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