‘Pathetic’: Ian Healy blows up over Australia’s treatment in India

Former Australian wicket-keeper Ian Healy has called on the International Cricket Council to ensure visiting teams are treated fairly during Border-Gavasakar Trophy tours.

Australia were belted by an innings and 132 runs in two-and-a-half days in the first Test in Nagpur, getting the four-match series off to a terrible start.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald revealed, in a bid to find some form in the challenging conditions before the next Test, Australia had requested to practice on the centre wicket on what would have been day four in Nagpur.

A request which was reportedly granted.

When they turned up for the session however, they discovered the pitch, as well as the practice nets, had been watered by groundstaff, ruining their plans.

Speaking on SEN, Healy described it as “pathetic.”

“I think it’s a pathetic effort,” Healy said.

“It’s really embarrassing the scuppering of our plans to get some practice sessions on that Nagpur wicket.

“That’s not good, that’s just not good for cricket.”

Whether done intentionally or as a result of a miscommunication, the incident has further highlighted the challenges of touring in India.

Curators in Nagpur had prepared a pitch which would spin and supposedly trouble Australia’s left-hand-heavy batting lineup.

Barring a few exceptions, the visitors’ batters needed little help in getting themselves out as Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin rolled through them with little resistance.

The lack of a tour match in Indian conditions has since been suggested as a possible cause for the struggles.

Not being able to train on the worn pitch in Nagpur won’t help the situation.

Healy suggested the ICC need to intervene to prevent similar treatment on both sides marring the rivalry between the two cricketing powerhouses.

“The ICC needs to step in here and say, ‘Our nations need to trust each other much better, if you request certain conditions to practice and prepare on, you must get them’,” Healy said.

“For them to water the wicket unceremoniously when it was requested for practice is horrible and that has to improve.”

Australia will get a shot at redemption when the second Test gets underway in Delhi on Friday.

There will be significant interest around the team selection, with Matthew Renshaw in particular under pressure after scores of zero and two in Nagpur, while Travis Head, controversially left out of the first Test could get a chance to prove himself in subcontinental conditions.

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