For the Aussies, it will be a rehearsal before the actual thing. Tour games have their own significance.
They help the visiting side receive a feel of the conditions, enable cricketers spend some time in the middle, and get the engine started.
For the home team, the match provides an opportunity for the contenders to push their claims.
Their skill and temperament are tested against an international side.
The one-day practice game between the Australians and the Board President’s team at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Monday has the makings of an interesting duel on a surface that could be on the slower side, assisting spin.
The Australians will be without the heavy-hitting top-order batsman Aaron Finch who has still not recovered fully from a calf injury he sustained while turning out for Surrey a few days back.
It’s a pity, though, that this duel will not be an official List-A match.
This means both teams will be allowed to field more than 11 players each during the game and achievements will not enter the records books.
This could take some intensity out of the game.
But then, the Aussies will be aiming to find some form and touch, both with the bat and the ball ahead of the opening ODI on September 17.
Men such as skipper Steve Smith and David Warner will get an idea about the pace and bounce of the wicket while someone like pace spearhead Pat Cummins has an opportunity to discover rhythm, so crucial for bowlers.
There are some promising aspirants in the Board President’s team. None more than M.S. Washington Sundar, an aggressive left-handed batsman, a competent off-spinner who can operate under pressure and a fine, athletic fielder.
Given his qualities, selection panel chief M.S.K. Prasad will keep a keen eye on Washington during the game.
Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana are stroke-makers with ability. Left-arm spinner Rahil Shah can be parsimonious with the ball.
Paceman Sandeep Sharma uses the pace and harnesses the angles capably. And the young Avesh Khan can get the ball to zip around.
They all will receive a chance to press their claims.
Match starts at 10 a.m.