Former coach reckons India could be ill-prepared for Australia July 7, 2007

Chappell questions scheduling

Cricinfo staff

Chappell reckons that inadequate preparation will hamper India's chances of reprising the 2003-04 result © Getty Images

Greg Chappell, who coached India for two years before resigning in the wake of the World Cup debacle, has questioned the schedule that gives the Indians just one warm-up game before the Boxing Day Test against Australia later this year. India drew their last series in Australia, but Chappell believes their chances of equalling that feat or better it will be hampered by lack of preparation on hard and bouncy pitches.

Chappell, who is now a part-time consultant with Australian cricket's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, has been a critic of tour schedules that give visiting teams little chance to acclimatise. "The more time you've got the better, but programmes in modern cricket just don't allow for it and international cricketers are used to it," said Chappell, in conversation with The Age. "If you had a month and you could play four games, that would be perfect, but the modern programmes don't allow for it. That's the way it is, so the players just have to adjust as quickly as they can. It's not ideal."

India play just one three-day tour game, against Victoria at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, before they take on Australia in the first of four Tests. And they'll arrive in the country just a week after wrapping up a gruelling home series against Pakistan.

Some of India's senior players, including Rahul Dravid, wanted more warm-up matches before the Boxing Day Test, but the request was denied. India will spend more than two months in Australia, following the Test series with a triangular that also involves Sri Lanka. No team has won a series in Australia since Richie Richardson led West Indies to a 2-1 success in 1992-93.