Lack of match practice can cost India: Ian Healy

Sydney, Dec 18 (UNI) Lack of practice matches, combined with the presence of ageing stars, may spell doom for the visiting Indian side in the four-match Test series, believes former Australian players.

Former Aussie stars Ian Healy and Damien Fleming has expressed reservations about whether the tourists could give the Australian spectators the contest which will give them a value for their money.

India will have just one full day to acclimatise before beginning its lone warm-up clash --a three-day affair against Victoria at the Junction Oval-- ahead of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Former Aussie wicketkeeper, Ian Healy, said India's governing body should have planned the itinerary in a more appropriate manner.

''It's not so much a crowded schedule, it's when they plan it,'' Healy said.

''They didn't have sufficient thought when doing it. But they have gone along with it for some reason and left themselves short for a series that should be extremely important.'' ''It could be the last time we see three of their legends. The other thing is they know how precious a victory is to their country and it seems to me their administrators haven't given themselves a fair chance,'' he said.

Adding that another tour match would have been a ideal situation and would have provided preparation to the visitors to combat an Australian team just two wins away from equalling its own record streak of 16.

''Another fortnight might have been perfect. They are coming off some hard cricket of late but hard cricket in totally opposite conditions,'' Healy said.

''That's not good. I just think they are going to have to cram too much, too quickly,'' Healy was quoted as saying by the 'Herald Sun'.

India boasts of vast experience --Sachin Tendulkar, 34, Sourav Ganguly, 35, Rahul Dravid, who turns 35 in January, and VVS Laxman, 33, are all nearing the end of their careers-- there are concerns about the team's fitness and ability to stay healthy after an overload of cricket in recent months.

Meanwhile, former Aussie pacer Damien Fleming has said that ageing stars combined with lack of acclimatisation may hinder their performance in the series.

''My concern with India is that they have played that much cricket they are going to have to keep their energy up in this Test series,'' Fleming said.


Story first published: Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 20:52 [IST]
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