The quick turnaround to Test cricket and vastly different conditions to what both sides are used to have been the talking points in the Australian and Indian camps ahead of the ICC World Test Championship Final that begins on June 7 at The Oval.
“We have to wait and see what The Oval (pitch) looks like,” Alex Carey told ICC earlier in the week during Australia’s training session.
“There might be some grass on it and it might be dry,” he added, remaining unsure about what to expect at a venue that hasn’t always been a happy hunting ground for Australia.
In the Indian camp, players are regrouping after the two-month IPL season and the talk has been around the switch in format, although Axar Patel, in a recent interaction with ICC, stated that the players were practising with the red ball whenever they could during the IPL back home.
“We had red balls, so we were using them,” Axar said.
“You know when and how to play, how much time you have. This mental switch from white ball to red ball is obviously tough, but we have enough time.”
The change from SG ball to Dukes ball is also something that has the Indian team will need to quickly acclimatise to, but the left-arm spinner was confident that it wouldn’t affect the team as long as they hit the right areas when bowling.
“Since the match is in England, which is different from India, we are planning what lines and lengths will work here,” said Axar. “The same thing in practice, we are good to go.”
India have been hard at work during their training sessions at the scenic Arundel Cricket Club, despite player arrivals being staggered due to the IPL. The weather, in fact, has made it a pleasant experience.
“I don’t think there will be many problems because we have had a good time to prepare,” said Axar.
“We came after playing IPL, where it was 40-45 degrees in India. After that it feels great here. We have taken out our winter clothes and are roaming around wearing jumpers. It’s also a bit windy.
“Whenever we come to the UK, we enjoy the weather. It remains a little cool, there is no heat.”
While conditions were in stark contrast to that in England, these teams are coming off a closely fought Test series earlier in the year in India, where the hosts edged the Aussies 2-1.
Carey stated that the team showed character and fight to come back from 2-0 down to win a Test in Indore before the draw in the final Test.
Aside from the fight shown by the group, the major positive from the tour, according to Carey, was that Australia could walk away knowing that they would face India at The Oval in the final.
“We walked away from the mid-point (of the series) with a bit of confidence knowing we were good enough in those conditions and there were a few little areas we would have liked to have cleaned up,” he said.
“But hey, we get an opportunity against India at The Oval … and now the grand final is here.”
The spectacle unfolds from June 7 with the two top teams from the ICC Rankings up against each other. Who’ll be crowned champions?
Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.