India-Cricket Australia XI game set to kickstart Test preparation
Shikar Dhawan and Virat Kohli led India to a comprehensive win at SCG to level the three-match T20 series on Sunday, 26 November 2018. They will move on to the longer format part of the tour which kickstarts with a four-day practice game against Cricket Australia XI at Sydney Cricket Ground beginning on 29 November 2018.
India will be happy Kohli had a good outing at SCG in the final game of T20. The four-day game will be another opportunity for all the Indian batsmen and bowlers to get familiar to Australian conditions and to spend good time out in the middle before they move to Adelaide for the first match on 6 December 2018.
India will expect their Test specialists like Prithvi Shaw, Pujara, Murali Vijay, and Rahane who were not part of the T20 series to utilise the practice match to spend quality game time ahead of the tough series against the top class Australian bowling attack led by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
The management will have all their frontline players giving it a go in the practice game even though Cricket Australia XI doesn't feature any of the Australian players who will be part of their test squad. D' Arcy Short is the only player with international experience in the team. Some established players from the domestic circuit will feature against the Indian team.
It remains to be seen how much the four-day game will benefit the Indian player except for getting adapted to the weather and playing conditions as they won't be playing against the premier players from Australia especially in the bowling department. The batting unit features the Chandigarh born batting allrounder Param Uppal, D' Arcy Short, Max Bryant, led by the wicket-keeper batsman Sam Whiteman.
The weather remains sunny all four days which will ensure India will get full four-day practice game at SCG where they play the final Test match of the series. Adelaide will host the first test match (06 December 2018 - 10 December 2018) followed by the second test in Perth (14 December 2018 - 18 December 2018).
The Boxing Day Test will start on 26 December at MCG, and the team will move to Sydney for the final Test which begins on 03 January 2019.