Rahul Dravid Feels India A Tour To New Zealand Will Help Senior Players Prepare For Australia
India A will play three ODIs and as many Tests during their New Zealand tour.
Former India captain and current India A coach Rahul Dravid believes that the upcoming A team tour to New Zealand will help some of the senior players prepare for the tough Australia tour, which is around the corner. Murali Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane are some of the Team India players that will feature in the India A tour of New Zealand, starting on November 16.
"It is really nice to be able to hold such tours just before the Indian team visits these countries. We are trying to have shadow tours. We did it in England and we could obviously not do it in Australia, but it is great to go to New Zealand instead," Dravid told bcci.tv in an interview.
"I think it will be a very good opportunity for some of the boys who are requested by the senior team management to be a part of the A tour. They will be able to gain some match-time experience even if the conditions are not going to be exactly the same or it is not like being in Australia," Dravid added, commenting on the Indian batsmen, who will later face Australia in three ODIs, four Tests and three T20Is in their backyard.
India A will play three ODIs and as many four-day Test matches on their challenging tour to New Zealand. The Test team will be led by India vice-captain Rahane in the first Test, while Karun Nair will captain the side in subsequent Test matches.
Talking about the challenges that senior players will face during the four-day Test series, Dravid said: "The A team format is pretty competitive and it is match-time experience. It is a good opportunity in the lead up to international tours."
Having recently won a two-Test series 2-0, five-match ODI rubber 3-1 and three-T20I challenge by 3-0 against West Indies at home, India will tour to Australia for three ODIs, four Tests, three T20Is, starting November 21.
India last toured Australia in 2015-16, having lost the five-match ODI series 1-4 and won the three-match T20I series 3-0. In the last edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2014-15, India suffered a 0-2 defeat in the four-match Test series. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, the No.1-ranked Indian Test team will aim for an improved show this time in Australia.
According to Dravid, who has 13288 runs to his name from 164 Test matches, such A team tours provide players a better chance to prepare for an international series.
"It is exciting to have the senior boys with us. The objective for us is to prepare them for Australia and at the same time, the younger boys get an opportunity to share the dressing room with them. The experience rubs off and we try and create that environment," he said.