Veteran left-hand batsman Gautam Gambhir has said that the ongoing 2-match Test series against a basically weak West Indies team is not at all a good preparation for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia.
India simply dominated its way through a Test win in the first game at Rajkot by an innings and 272 runs and what alarming stood out was the gulf in class and ability between the two sides. This is why, as Gambhir pointed out, the Virat Kohli led team gains nothing substantial to take forward from a series like this.
"It's probably just the ICC calendar and I don't see any other relevance. When you go to Australia, either you bring a stronger opposition or you go early and prepare with as many practice games as you can," Gambhir was quoted saying in an interview with News18, "West Indies side seems depleted, no disrespect to the team, but when you go to Australia, you've got to prepare in a different way," he stressed and suggested, "West Indies as the opposition, at home, is not the way you prepare for Australia. You would rather play West Indies in a One-day and T20I former and go to Australia early."
Having seen India fight but eventually lose both the Test series in South Africa and England this year, Gambhir wants the team to learn from their experiences and work hard on all aspects because the challenge in Australia will be even sterner. In line with this, Gambhir also wants India to play the adequate number of red-ball games leading upto the first Test at Adelaide from December 6.
He said, "This is the mistake we made in South Africa, then, the same way in England. I think 1-2 warm-up games before the Australia tour will not be enough," and added, "So maybe you go to Australia a month early. the Test squad goes there 20-25 days early. Then try and play at least 4-5 warm-up games before the first Test," before reiterating, "This way you get acclimatised to the wickets and the conditions. I hope this happens because this probably our best chance at winning an overseas series. We missed tow chances before."
Gambhir also showered praise on the Indian fast bowling unit for their efforts on both the tough Test tours and said, "I keep mentioning this that this is the most balanced bowling attack India has ever had. So if you don't win it now, it's only going to get difficult in coming years," he emphasized, "Most guys are on their peak and next Australia tour will be after four years. By then, most of these will either be on the decline or not playing international cricket," and signed off with, "So I think we have to prepare differently which we haven't done in the last two tours. Let's hope we can rectify our mistakes from the past."