Former England skipper Geoffrey Boycott has echoed sentiments of Ian Chappell and said that instead of playing hosts India at the moment, the Australian team should have been rested ahead of the return-Ashes series against England.
Chappell had termed the single T20 and seven ODI series - staring today - meaningless and badly-timed. Boycott went a step further.
"I think these days it's about money for all the countries. You're dead right, it's all about damn money. You come to us so we can make a lot of money, and then we'll come to you so you can make a pot of money, he told ESPNCricinfo. "What do I make of the timing of this tour? Well, I think it's absolutely stupid! I mean, absolutely stupid. They should be resting, Australia. Not going to India, not to anywhere. Just resting after the Ashes, having camps, getting ready, focusing on beating England in five Test matches."
The Australians were routed in the Ashes in England, losing the five-Test series 3-0 in July-August. While the team is determined to extract revenge later this year when England come calling, Boycott said that the current series against India will hardly help Australian players. "These players will go to India, play on slow, turning pitches and then come back to play England in the Ashes. Not smart, and if they send a second-team to India, India will play hell about it because they're going to be playing a 2nd XI. So, there are no winners here."
The Australian team which is currently in India is expected to test freshers and while skipper George Bailey has said his team seeks to gain experience with eye on World Cup, the 72-year-old Boycott does not think too highly of this strategy. "Listen, if you were captain of Australia or anybody out there and you were going to India or any country, you would talk up what they were doing. You certainly wouldn't talk it down as you arrive, would you? You'd be wrong in your damn head to do that! You're going to talk it up," he said.
The Australians are currently ranked fourth in Tests and second, after India, in ODIs. To uproot their hosts from the perch though, the team will have to win six of the seven matches here. While the solitary T20 will be played in Rajkot today, the ODI series will be held till the second of the next month - about three weeks before 1st Test vs England.