It used to be called "warm-up match" in days gone by when teams played very little cricket for rest of the year and hence needed more local games to prepare for an overseas tour but in recent times when players are over worked/warmed-up but need to acclimatise to conditions, "practice match" is more the word to describe the games before the big battle begins..
Disastrous test series in England on which Indians played just one practice game and went on to lose their no.1 test ranking, BCCI seems to have learnt their lesson as they've asked for an extra match before the 4 tests match series starting 26 December. It's been said about India that they almost everytime lose the first game of a fresh new series and lack of practice for players away from home is seen as they problem.
Schedule : India tour of Australia 2011-12.
As of now, India are slotted to arrive in Australia on 15th December, play a 4 day game against Cricket Australia's chairman's XI at Manuka Oval in capital ciy of Canberra before the first test at Melbourne.
"We are considering the request and it is work in progress," said a Cricket Australia spokesperson. "You've got to understand that scheduling is a three-dimensional exercise and it is always difficult to make any changes once things are finalised. But we have always had cordial relations with the BCCI and we should be able to find a way."
What's the problem in adding an extra game you'd ask, specially when every Aussie youngster would love to unleash his talent against International team. Just send the boys a week early!
But no, cricket schedule, as CA chairman puts it, is a three-dimensional excercise and the trouble here is Aussie first class cricketers will be indulged in reformed Big Bash tournament from 16th December, leaving almost no one to participate in the match unless Indians want to play a second string side made up of club crickters.
Update : India will now play two practice games, at same venue, against same team. First is 2 day game while second will be 3 day game, at Manuka Oval in Canberra.