The England Test series is scheduled to begin on August 4, and the Indian team is currently enjoying a short break in the UK. The team assembles before the series starts, to play a practice match from July 20. But according to a report, R Ashwin has decided to play a County Championship match for Surrey - provided he gets a work visa. The match is scheduled to begin on July 11.
The Surrey match will be against Somerset at The Oval, the venue for the fourth Test against England. It will also get over on July 14, the date when Indian team regroups after the break. Meanwhile, after the loss of the WTC final against New Zealand recently, Virat Kohli had made a cryptic comment over the non-availability of a first-class match before the summit clash. On the other hand, New Zealand had played a two-Test series against England before coming to the all-important final.
“Well, that doesn’t depend on us," Kohli said in the post-match press conference. “We obviously wanted first-class games, which I believe have not been given to us. I don’t know what the reasons for that are. But yeah, other than that, I think our preparation time will be ample for us to be ready for the first Test."
On the other hand, after a lot of debate, it is finally clear that Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal won’t be joining the team in England after a request put in by the team management, to the selectors, according to a report in India Today. The management made the request after batsman Shubman Gill was ruled out of the England series due to a shin injury.
The selectors have asked the management to draft Abhimanyu Easwaran in the team, who is there with the team as a reserve opener. The Indian team is set to play the five-match Test series starting August 4. According to a report, the management wrote a mail to the selectors on June 28, to send Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal to England, but it seems that head selector Chetan Sharma is on the same page as the management.