Australia captain Steve Smith with teammates arrives at international airport in Mumbai. Pic/PTI
Indian cricket tours and homework. It was an ill-fated mix for Australia on their previous tour to India in 2012-13 that resulted in the tourists suffering a 4-0 whitewash.
This time around however, the Australians have arrived in India having completed all their tasks in a gruelling training camp in Dubai.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon has spent time locked inside his hotel room watching videos of Ravichandran Ashwin. He has also admitted to experimenting with different types of deliveries in the nets at the International Cricket Council cricket academy in Dubai.
Matthew Renshaw has been fine-tuning his technique by staying low and learning to play the ball under his eye while confronted with plastic chairs acting as imaginary fielders around him.
Steven O'Keefe has spent a whole week trying to bowl on the line of the stumps from different angles and also alerting his arm angle at the point of delivery.
Importantly, the Australians have had the luxury of practising on pitches that have been slow and low.
The groundstaff at the ICC academy had scuffed up the practice pitch and sprinkled some dust onto the spinner length to ensure the batsmen are in real match
But perhaps the most defining approach over the past week has been that of the Australian batters who have been focusing on defence and working the ball into imaginary gaps.
As the team arrived in India yesterday, the word from the Australia camp is that the visitors are prepared to shelve their attacking instincts to combat India in a more methodical manner.
Recently, skipper Steve Smith stated that the team has to overcome its mentality of trying to score as many runs as possible because eventually an unplayable ball is destined to get them out. After watching the camp in Dubai over the past few days, it seems Australia have arrived in India, keen to adapt to a new mindset and play a brand of cricket, we have perhaps never seen from an Australian team.
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