Shots have already been fired from the travelling party as the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is set to begin on February 9, draws closer. The most recent critic of India was former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy, who defended his country’s decision to skip all tour games in the region before the major series.

His remarks followed Usman Khawaja’s startling remark that it was useless to play a warm-up game since the wickets are radically different during the major event.

“Have you ever pre-toured Australia with us? When we play, the wickets may spin, but when we play practice games (in India), the wickets are green Gabba-like, so what’s the point? “At a press conference earlier this month, Khawaja had said.

We’ve convened our spinners in Sydney for strategic meetings (on imitation India surfaces), and Healy concurred with Khawaja’s assertion, saying: “We no longer believe that the necessary facilities would be granted for a country.”

By the way, we’ve participated in these shenanigans as well. When we’re over (in England), we complain about the inferior County teams that England chose for our opponents before the series.

Healy continued by stating that he does not like the idea of having two distinct sets of wickets prepared for tours and real matches. “I don’t like it that we deprive visiting teams of excellent preparation before extremely highly anticipated series because our focus in cricket has switched from providing opportunities and experiences for our finest up-and-coming cricketers.” Such a breakdown of confidence between cricket’s countries is unfortunate, and it must end “Healy said.

Since 2004–2005, Australia has failed to win a single Test series in India; they are hoping that things would turn around this time. “These days, touring teams all seem to suffer, and here we are again. We are heading to India without having had much time to prepare for that country, much alone England later in the year where we haven’t won since 2001,” Healy said.

Healy, though, thought it would be a good idea to schedule a practice game in the middle of the series to give their seven backup players some match experience.

“Australia is hopeful that everything will work out in India and that net practice would help the team reenergize. Since our coaching team is OK with this, I’ll continue to put my faith in them. But I’d like to see a tour match in India between the second and third Tests. To give our seven reserves (out of the 18-man team) a chance to play, I’d love to see a three-day match “Healy said.