The Indian team has received flak for not preparing well enough ahead of overseas series and after their recent struggles in England, the decision of the management to play only a solitary warm-up match before the Test series was questioned. 

Hence, head coach Ravi Shastri has now issued a statement as he makes it clear that he has asked the BCCI to arrange for a couple of practice matches before the Australia tour kicks off later this year.

It is worth mentioning here that ahead of the Test series against England, India played just a lone warm-up game against Essex and even that game was clipped to three days as the Indian players were not very happy with the condition of the pitch and the outfield. 

'Is there space to play the warm-up matches?'

Ravi Shastri Virat Kohli
File photo: Ravi Shastri (left) and Vira Kohli during a training session.Reuters

"If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don't mind because it is a game. But when you have a schedule as tight as this and when you have a memorandum of understanding that has already been formulated, with a choc-a-bloc calendar, there is very little you can do. Now, we have requested for a couple of games in Australia before the Test series. But is there space (to play those matches)? That is the question," Shastri was as quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Speaking about the England series, he clarified that his team is not averse to playing practice games and said that they had improved significantly after the second Test match, and thus, with better practice matches, they can be a force to reckon with right from the first match.

Virat Kohli, however, defended the decision to play only one warm-up match and said that playing games against significantly weaker oppositions do not really serve any purpose in the longer run.

"Ideally we would want two three- or four-day games before a Test series. But do you have the time? For example, we have a T20 series in Australia preceding the Test series. There is a 10-day gap before the first Test. These are things that have been approved earlier. It is not in our control," Kohli said when asked the question of warm-up matches.