Ian Healy.
Ian Healy. Image: Twitter

Usman Khawaja, a prolific run-scorer, believes that practice matches are not necessary prior to the four-match Border-Gavaskar series that begins in India on February 9. Former Australia wicket-keeper Ian Healy disagrees.

Before the first Test in Nagpur, Australia won’t play a single warm-up match in India, but Khawaja, a player of the visiting team, recently said that this won’t hurt the team’s prospects on fast-spinning sub-continent pitches.

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Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja. Image: Twitter

Practice Matches Not For Everyone But Some: Ian Healy

“Have you ever been pre-tour with us? They can be spinning wickets when we play but we go to the practice matches and they are green Gabba-like wickets out there so what’s the point,” Khawaja was quoted as saying recently by the Australian media.

“I think we have finally learned. When I heard we weren’t going to have a practice game I went up to (head coach) Andrew McDonald and said, ‘good idea’.”

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Ian Healy, 58, begs to disagree and stated on Thursday that while players like Khawaja, who is in top form, would not need fine-tuning on Indian grounds, many in the squad will need to acclimatise to sub-continent wickets.

Australia. Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“That’s an in-form natural batsman (Khawaja) talking,” Healy told SEN Radio on Thursday.

“I think the spinners would like a ‘bowl-off’ into it and so the non-natural players who need some repetition and to grind before getting back into it. It’s not for everyone practice matches, but it is for some,” added Healy.

Ian Healy believes that Australia’s prospects in the important series may suffer since the touring team, captained by Pat Cummins, is not slated to play any tour games in between Tests.

“How do we get players back into form? There’ll be no games in between the four Tests either. Someone who is going to be sitting on the bench for three matches might get dragged in, we’ve got to be careful.”

Ian Healy Worried For Lance Morris

The 168 ODI and 119 Test veteran further stated that he was worried about pacer Lance Morris, who may make his Australian debut during the tour.

“I am a little bit worried, not so much for an Usman (Khawaja) and that sort of personality that he’s got with great natural flair. But a Lance Morris, I want to keep him revving, I would be looking to find games for a few of those (players).

Lance Morris
Photo Credit: (Twitter)

“We want them to play games, see if there’s a club game if there is such a thing in India. I don’t need him (Morris) getting stale or bored without form behind him,” opined Ian Healy.

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