Desperate to play more Tests, the Indian cricket board has requested Cricket Australia (CA) to replaced its scheduled seven one-day matches in India in October with two Tests and three one-dayers.
CA said they had received an official request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and were considering it.
“We’ve got an open mind on it but it is being discussed and that could be the road down, which we will go,” a CA spokesman was quoted as saying by The Australian.
“One of the thoughts going through our heads is that we’ve got an Ashes series coming up and all we’ve got between now and then is two Tests against Pakistan in England during July. Playing Tests in India in October may not be a bad idea because it gives us another chance to have another reasonably contemporary Test experience under the belt,” he said.
This summer’s five-Test Ashes series in Australia begins in late November. So the Test players would have plenty of time to readjust to Australian conditions by playing one or two Sheffield Shield matches after the series in India.
CA claims it has no indication why India wants to change the schedule and will not speculate. However, there is no doubt that India becoming the leading Test nation is central to the BCCI’s motivation.
India played just six Tests last year and the four it has completed this year are all that are scheduled until after next year’s World Cup in March.
Playing so few Tests leaves India vulnerable of losing the top ranking with the top of the Test table so tightly packed.