Kolkata, May 9: Terming this as a “chance” for India to script their first-ever Test series win Down Under, former Australia captain Michael Clarke on Wednesday said India had their reasons to back out of a Day/Night match during their tour later this year.
“I think India feel like they know the conditions that will suit them best to beat Australia. Remember India have never beaten Australia ever in Australia. This is their chance,” Clarke said at an interactive session at the Indian Chamber of Commerce & Young Leaders Forum (YLF) here.
The BCCI had officially informed Cricket Australia that Virat Kohli and Co would not engage in any pink ball Test during their tour Down Under. India are slated to play three Tests against Australia, starting from December 10. There would be three T20 internationals prior to that.
CA wanted to continue with their recent tradition of playing the opening Test at Adelaide from December 6-10 under lights.
The Indian team management headed by chief coach Ravi Shastri though had intimated the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that the team will take at least 18 months to prepare for the Day/Night Test.
Explaining the rationale behind India not wanting to play in white flannels under floodlights, Clarke said: “If India play during the day, the wicket is flatter and spin a little bit more. At night there is no spin, there is moisture and bit more movement.”
“So India prefer to take their chances during the day like they have played every other Test match throughout their careers.”
“So I can understand why they are not wanting to play D/N test matches,” said the 37-year-old who skippered Australia to the 2015 World Cup.
Clarke though backed the Day-Night Tests, saying this is the future and would engage more fans watching the game.
“I do believe for the game, particularly in the summer of Australia, to get people watching on television we are going to see a lot more D/N Test matches moving forward and probably around the world.”
Clarke spilled the beans on how the Aussies got rid of the dangerous New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in the 2015 World Cup final by plotting yorkers against the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman who had till then been in great form.
“We planned that wherever he bats, every single ball to him should be yorkers. We wanted to bowl at him like it’s the last five overs. Next day, Starc was with the new ball and asked ‘Skipper is the plan still the same? I said yes.’ Fortunately it worked,” he revealed.
McCullum was removed for a three-ball duck by pacer Mitchell Starc with a yorker that swung in and landed in between the stumps making the batsman tentative and his off stump uprooted.
Australia had won the final in Melbourne by seven wickets with 101 balls to spare.
Meanwhile Clarke said that he is “surprised” by Virat Kohli’s decision to skip India’s one-off Test against Afghanistan next month in order to play for English county side Surrey and prepare better for India’s long tour of England.
“Look I am really surprised. I don’t know that’s Virat’s choice but I am really surprised. I think a Test match is a Test match. I don’t care who you are playing against, it needs to be number one priority,” Clarke said
“I still feel Virat can get what he wants in terms of coming and playing some games for Surrey and then I would like to see him fly back and play the Test match,” he added. (IANS)