Australia’s poor Test record in the subcontinent has seen Cricket Australia import Indian pitch soil to help improve results when faced with spin-friendly conditions.
The new wickets will be laid at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, where 16 of Australia’s top men’s cricketers are currently taking part in a two-week fitness camp.
Quick Single: Australia face up to spin threat
Australia face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in a two-Test series in October, and captain Michael Clarke knows he’ll be facing an all-out spin assault as he and his men try to keep their hands on their recently acquired ICC Mace for being the No.1 Test team in the world.
“Good teams get to number one, great teams stay there,” said Clarke.
“We didn’t play well in India, I don’t know but I am guessing the wickets in the UAE will be similar.
“I am guessing they will prepare wickets that spin and they will have two or three spinners in those teams.
“We have to find a way to get better. That is one of our great challenges as a Test team.”
The move to import foreign soil is not unprecedented, with chairman of selectors Rod Marsh employing the same strategy during his time as International Cricket Council academy coach.
Now it’s Australia’s turn to adopt that method, and General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard says CA is doing everything possible to help the nation’s cricketers from top to bottom improve against spin and subcontinental conditions.
“A third of all our matches are in the subcontinent, so you’ve got to be able to deal with it,” Howard told News Limited.
“Whilst we do practise here against spin and there’s the famous Matt Hayden stories about him working on it here (at Allan Border field), we know it’s not as real as being there.
“We’re never going to make it exactly the same but we’re going to try to get as close as we can.”
“Our domestic cricket does a wonderful job of preparing guys to play in Australia, but the whole reason we play Australia A tours or send guys to the MRF (academy in India) or Sri Lanka or teams come here is to be able to deal with the global conditions.
“One of the great challenges is winning away and that’s why we’re trying to get our guys used to playing in different conditions.
“The subcontinent (pitch) idea has been around for a long time and we’re very much trying to make this (National Cricket Centre) a place where in the middle of winter guys can get themselves ready and prepared.”