With an eye on the gruelling Australia series that follows the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, the Indian Tests specialists including Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari have begun preparations for the pink ball Test against Australia at the ICC Academy in Dubai, from Friday evening.
Pujara and Vihari, who are not part of the IPL have already been training at the ICC Academy for the past couple of weeks, will now start training under lights for India's Test series opener in Adelaide, which will be played under lights from December 17.
"The team realises the need to prepare for such an intense series and we want to use as much of our time judiciously in Dubai. We will have sessions under lights from today and with the pink ball. Today's session will be a three-hour session approximately," a source told ANI.
Even though throwdown specialist Raghu had to skip travelling to the UAE with the rest of the support staff as he is down with COVID-19, the team has another throwdown specialist in Sri Lankan Nuwan Seneviratne. His left-arm throwdowns are something that will help the Indians prepare for the Australian pace unit which is led by Mitchell Starc.
"Pujara, Vihari, and the rest are currently working with Nuwan in Raghu's absence. It is unfortunate but you cannot do anything about Raghu testing positive for coronavirus. Looking at the brighter side, Nuwan brings in the left-arm angle and that is a plus as Starc is an integral part of the Australian attack," the source added.
While India's tour of Australia gets underway with the limited-overs series on November 27, the visitors are also set to play four Tests, which will be a part of the Test Championship and the winner gets one step closer to the final which is expected to be played at Lord's in June 2021.
With India sitting at the top of the points table in the ICC World Test Championship and Australia in second place, it is expected to be a thrilling contest with the first Test set to be played under lights at the Adelaide Oval, from December 17.
The second match is the Boxing Day Test which will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26 to 30), while the third Test will be at the Sydney Cricket Ground from (January 7 to 11) and the final Test at the Gabba from (January 15 to 19).
The Indian team is set to leave for Australia from Dubai on November 12 and will land in Sydney where they will undergo quarantine and will also train for the ODI series which gets underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground from November 27.