India will have to make do with just one warm-up match on their year-end tour of Australia after the Indian board (BCCI) ruled out any extra games. The only tour game they will have to get used to the conditions will be the match against Victoria ahead of the first Test at Melbourne on December 26.
India play Australia in December-January in four Tests followed by a triangular one-day series with the hosts and Sri Lanka. "There's no chance of adding any extra games. The players may want more but where is the time?" Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, told the PTI.
In the months ahead, India will play three ODIs against South Africa in Ireland and three Tests and seven ODIs in England after which some of the players will head to South Africa for the Twenty20 World Cup in September. Then in October Australia are set to come to India for seven ODIs and a Twenty20 game following which Pakistan will visit for three Tests and five ODIs before India go to Australia.
Rahul Dravid, the Indian captain, had stressed that the international schedule was overloaded. "Ideally, the timing of the series could have been better," Dravid said after most of the first Test against Bangladesh at Chittagong had been lost to rain. "But schedules are cramped - over-cramped if you ask me - so I don't know how we are going to fit everything in.
"The solution is that we have to get the scheduling right and try to get a certain number of Test and ODIs and try not to exceed that number, and plan your tours well and prepare for your tours well. At the end of the day, quality is important and as an international player you want to provide quality cricket to people."