Sydney, Aug 14 : Cricket Australia is desperate to ensure that doubts about playing in Pakistan do not leave the side under-prepared for the important Test tour of India that follows, with fast bowler Stuart Clark prepared to take an early passage to India to prepare for the series.
If the ICC's last-ditch effort to convince Australia to play in Pakistan is unsuccessful today, the Australians will be dreadfully short of match practice ahead of the sequel to last summer's engrossing series against Anil Kumble's men starting in October.
"It's always hard going to India, you really need to go there and familiarise yourself with the country, the wickets and the conditions,' said Clark.
"It's all good and well to train here but the conditions are so different sometimes that if we go a few days early that wouldn't bother me because I think it will be very important for my preparation to get acclimatised to those conditions," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.
Only one tour match is scheduled before the first Test against India, which begins in Bangalore on October 9. The CA is ready to swing into action at short notice to ensure its players have enough time to adapt to sub-continental conditions in the event of a Champions Trophy boycott.
"We're looking at it. At the moment the Champions Trophy is still going ahead, so we can only plan as if that is going to happen," coach Tim Nielsen said.
"The ideal situation won't be that we go to Darwin for one-dayers then home for two-and-a-half weeks then go to India. We will certainly have some other things on the go if CA does not send a team to Pakistan," he added.