New Delhi: As team India gears up for the ICC World Cup in a little over six months time, will the home series against Australia and New Zealand prior to the mega event be beneficial to the team’s cause?
Are back to back test series before the greatest cricketing bonanza the right way to go about the mission?
One has to keep in mind that the series against Australia was supposed to be a full fledged 50 overs affair. It was later changed to two tests and three ODIs. Is BCCI going to pay the ultimate price in an attempt to rule the roost in test cricket?
A heavily packed home schedule before the world cup for the home team can so easily be a double edged sword.
While the teams from down under can be demoralized before the world cup if things don’t go according to plan it also gives them a chance to acclimatize themselves to the conditions.
Going back in time, how often have the hosts gone on to lift the coveted trophy? Sri Lanka did it in 1996 but they were playing co hosts to India and Pakistan on that occasion. In the1992 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the combination of a prolonged test series against India and a tri-series also involving the West Indies did anything but help the Aussies in their world cup campaign. They did not even make it to the last four.
Sri Lanka, who on the other hand were denied two home games against Australia and the West Indies because of non cricketing reasons came out all guns blazing and went on to go all the way. They were fresh and raring to go not to mention that they had a score to settle with the Australians thanks to an unpleasant away series before the 96 Wills World Cup in the sub continent.
The surprise element can also be negated if players hit a purple patch before the actual big event since the cats will be out of the bag and that will give the others a chance to find answers and be well prepared for the actual show.
Although the series against the four time world champions gives the Indians a chance to get a psychological edge it might leave them fatigued and there is always the risk of losing big names to injury in back to back test series.