Nagpur, Feb 5 (IANS) India head coach Rahul Dravid stated that in the side's preparatory camp ahead of the four-match Test series against Australia, there has been an emphasis on fielding and close-in catching, something he feels will be very important during the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home.
'Everyone looks in really good shape. It's nice to get the Test team together again. We had a lot of white-ball cricket over the last month or so. Some of those boys, shifting from white-ball to red-ball, it's nice for them to just have that extended period in the nets. The surfaces have been really good as well.'
'Fielding side of things as well, that has been really important as well. The close in catching which we think is going to become a really important part of the series. There's a lot of emphasis and focus on close in catching, slip fielding, things like that when you are on the road all the time and don't get time to build on those things,' said Dravid in a video posted by the BCCI on their social media accounts.
India are currently practicing at the VCA Stadium in Civil Lines, Nagpur ahead of the first Test against Australia, set to happen at VCA Jamtha Stadium from Thursday. Dravid further stated that it was great to have one week for the Test side to prepare for an important series at home.
'It has been a really good couple of days we have had. We have had a couple really long sessions. I think it's really exciting as a coaching staff because you don't actually get times like this due to the amount of cricket we play.'
'You don't get time actually to do a camp or you can get an extended period of time where you get to work with players and build up towards the Test series.'
'Just to be able to get this week has been really exciting for us and we as a coaching staff have been planning and preparing for this for almost a month or so on what we will do in these four-five days. I'm glad it has all come together really well.'
After Nagpur, India and Australia will face off in matches at New Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad. Dravid signed off by saying though the camp is turning out to be productive, it is still a short one as per his standards.
'Even though this is a short one by my standards, I like to have longer camps where we can work with people. But even then, we're happy to get five days or six days here in Nagpur. It's been really fruitful and the boys are looking good. Hopefully two or three days more into the Test match and then we can get there.'
India are the current holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having won the last three series against Australia in 2017, 2018-19 and 2020-21, while Australia last won a Test series in India in 2004.