Two Test series in a year is overkill - Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar believes India and Australia are risking overkill by scheduling too many series with not enough time in between. Australia won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home in January and nine months on, the prize will be up for grabs again in a four-Test series in India.

In the build-up to the series players from both sides have said the challenging contest matches or even outdoes the traditional rivalries of India v Pakistan and Australia v England. However, Gavaskar felt there should have been a longer gap between the tours.

"But for the fact that it was such an enthralling series last time around, it made little sense for the two teams to be confronting each other so soon and in the same year," Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Times of India. "Too much of a good thing will even have the public fed up. If one team had been thrashed then the public would not have been too interested in the series, even if it was at a different venue."

Pakistan's visit for Test and ODI series in India last year didn't evoke as much enthusiasm among fans compared to previous series, largely attributed to an overdose of matches between the neighbours. Gavaskar said the scheduling of the Ashes was perhaps the ideal that could be followed, as it gave sufficient time for teams to regroup.

"The other example in favour of having a reasonable gap between series is the Ashes clash in 2006-07, when Australia smarting from the unexpected loss of the Ashes in 2005, came back with a vengeance and swamped England 5-0 in the series. Now with Kevin Pietersen leading a seemingly rejuvenated England side, the Ashes series next year in England could be well worth watching.

"We have seen in the past how England have beaten West Indies in the Caribbean [in 2003-04], and within a couple of months the calypso crusaders [West Indies] were in England and got beaten again, simply because the interim period of a couple of months did not allow them to add anything new to their squad."

Australia visited India this time last year for a seven-ODI series, and another one-day campaign is due next year. Prior to India's tour of Australia earlier this year, the previous two Test series between the nations were also played within the span of a year, with eight Tests from December 2003 to November 2004.

The two boards are even keen to schedule regular games between their second-string players. Australia A visited India this month, playing two three-day games against their Indian counterparts, and won the subsequent triangular one-day series, which also involved New Zealand A.