As the BCCI continues to fail to get practice matches for Team India in England, the latter seems to be the only losers. India were clearly not ready for the WTC final, and it showed in their performance. Now the England Test series is approaching, and no practice games are in pipeline for the team. They only play two intra-squad matches in Durham.
According to a report in Times of India, the ECB are yet to receive a request for a practice game ahead of the five-Test series. An ECS spokesperson confirmed the same. “As far as we are concerned, their schedule remains the same. They have a camp in Durham from July 15 and will play two four-day intra-squad matches amongst their extended playing squad. We don’t expect this to change,” the ECB spokesperson instructed TOI.
After the heavy defeat, Virat Kohli had lamented lack of practice matches. But that could be because of the stringent Covid-19 rules in the UK. “Even if they asked, India couldn’t have played a warm-up game. We negotiated with the UK government to allow them to train during quarantine. Other red country entrants have to do hard quarantine with one 20 minute walk a day in a car park,” said a source close to the team.
“What’s wrong with that? In a warm-up game, if a Kohli gets out, there’s no way he can practise on the centre wicket. He will have to bat in the nets. Whereas in an intra-squad game, even if you get out early, you can continue to bat and gain valuable practice against the best bowlers of your team,” justified a former India cricketer.