Early arrival has given us enough time to tune up: Dhoni

India skipper MS Dhoni says team's early arrival in Australia has given them enough time for practice to be at their best in the Test series

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has acknowledged that his side is blessed with adequate time for preparation ahead of this month's Boxing Day (Dec 26) Test against Australia. "If 12 days are not enough to prepare (for Australia), then even a month won't be,"  Dhoni told reporters on the eve of today's first practice tie against the CA Chairman's XI here at the Manuka Oval.

No excuses
Having said that Dhoni has also established that his team will be left with no excuses if they were to suffer the same fate they did in England earlier this year, once the Test series concludes in the last week of January.

"It's good to be here. It's a nice place to play cricket. We have to make the most of these practice games (Dec 15-16 & Dec 19-21). It's good that we have enough time to practice to be at our best (when the Tests begin).
These warm-up games are very important, to see how well we adapt to the conditions," added Dhoni. The skipper revealed that the management has planned to give all 17 members of the squad a look-in before the first Test.

"That's what the plan is (to give everyone a look-in). We are treating these as proper matches.  We can't really control what will happen on the field, but we'd like to give youngsters an opportunity to start off (the tour). Of course, some of us have not played much cricket here. But the good thing is that somebody like a Virat Kohli has come here and played in the Emerging Players Tournament. Everybody has a fair amount of experience with the conditions here," he said.

Dhoni felt that his star-studded batting line-up would enjoy the Australian conditions more than England. "What is important to note is that the conditions here are different. The wickets have a bit more bounce here. It's not the spongy bounce that you get in England," he said.

Jet lag problem
The team has benefitted from the earlier arrival of the first batch of players on December 8, felt Dhoni.
"We spoke a little bit -- and figured that it takes a little extra time to recover from jet lag. Some of the players have taken three to three-and-a-half days to recover. The good thing is that the first batch of players will play tomorrow's (today's) game. If somebody needs rest, we will try and provide them that, letting them play the second practice game," he concluded.

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