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Rahul Dravid Opens Up on Team India’s Early Departure to Australia for T20I World Cup

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Indian squad for T20 World Cup will depart for Perth today (Thursday, October 6) where they will be based for a week to adjust to the Australian conditions.

Ahead of the departure, India head coach Rahul Dravid explained on why the side has been departing early for Australia. He said that team’s early arrival in Perth will help them in adapting to the pace and bounce offered by the pitches, especially when approximately half of the team has not played a T20I game in the country before.

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“We will get an opportunity to spend a few days and sessions in Perth and then have a couple of matches there. Australia is quite unique in terms of the pace and bounce on those wickets and a lot of our players have not played a lot of T20 cricket in Australia,” said Dravid in the post-match press conference after India’s 49-run loss to South Africa in third T20I at Indore.

It is to be noted that key players from the team – Suryakumar Yadav and Arshdeep Singh haven’t had the experience of playing competitive cricket in the Australia. Apart from them, Harshal Patel and Deepak Hooda had toured Australia but as members of India U19 side in 2009 and 2013 respectively. And in terms of travelling reserves, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi has never played cricket in Australia.

“The idea was to give ourselves a chance to practice a little bit more, get acclimatised (to the conditions) and get some game time in to practice. Having been to Australia before (in his playing days), it takes some time to get used to that pace and bounce and hopefully once we practice, we would be able to have discussions around the sessions, strategies and tactics of how we need to play,” said Dravid.

“It is important (to go early) as we get little bit of extra time and have got quite a young squad which have a lot of people who have not played a lot of cricket in Australia. So hopefully that should help us,” he added.

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma had also echoed the same reasons when he was asked about team’s early departure to Australia.  He had said that out of the fifteen squad members, only seven or eight members had been to Australia before and this would help them to get acclimatise to the playing conditions.

“Lot of the guys haven’t been to Australia. That was the reason we are going there early and get used to the conditions there, which is why we are first going to Perth, try and play on those bouncy pitches and see what we can do there. Out of the fifteen squad members, only seven or eight members have been to Australia before, so half of the squad has not been there before

“We wanted to make the effort to go in early and get some practice games, like we have organised a couple of practice games against Western Australia plus there are two ICC practice games. So, that will help us get into our rhythm, what sort of combinations we can play,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony.

At Perth, the Indian team will play a practice match against Western Australian state team. Post that, they will travel to Brisbane to play official T20 World Cup warm-up matches against Australia and New Zealand at The Gabba on October 17 and 19 respectively.

India,  are in Group 2 of Super 12 stage at T20 World Cup, alongside Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and two qualifiers. Further, they will open their campaign in a high voltage match against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23 at the MCG, followed by matches on October 27 (against first qualifier side at SCG), October 30 (against South Africa at Perth Stadium), November 2 (against Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval) and November 6 (against second qualifier side at MCG).

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