India has always been a difficult country to tour for international cricket teams, as they find the playing conditions tough. The Australian team, which is set to play a four-match Test series against India, wants to come well prepared, and has decided to head to Dubai and practise there before testing their skills in India.
They are expected to participate in a camp at Dubai's state-of-the-art International Cricket Council (ICC) Academy. The Australian players will practise in various conditions and on different pitches, hoping that the sessions help them prepare well for the India series, which starts on February 23 in Pune.
Though the academy houses various types of pitches, it will still be a different ball game when they face India at home. Cricket Australia's high performance general manager Pat Howard also stated that one cannot exactly copy Indian conditions, but with their camp in Dubai, they can get into the right mindset.
"India is not going to be the same everywhere. What they can do in Dubai is do a lot of different preparation with different types of pitches," Howard told Fairfax Media.
"The ICC have done a really good job where they'll have different pitches of the cities... so it's not just spin pitches, there are different types. We cannot copy what we are going to get. It's all about the mindset that we're going to adapt. We can't get practice against (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja either."
The Australia team were completely outplayed in their last Test series in India in 2013, where the home team whitewashed the series 4-0. Even if the Aussies come with their homework done well, it is not going to be easy for them. It is not only about the conditions and pitches, but also the current form of the Indian team, which has been impressive, to say the least. They recently defeated England 4-0.
India, under Virat Kohli, have put up stupendous performances, as they enjoy an unbeaten 18-match winning streak. India will hope to continue that form when they welcome Australia in February.