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England vs India: The unprecedented drama that took place ahead of the only warm-up game

Team India played just one warm-up game and that was cut short from four to three days.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: India captain Virat Kohli at Lord’s Cricket Ground on August 11, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Team India lost the Lord’s Test by an innings and 159 runs, it was expected that they will face harsh criticism and it has been coming in from all quarters. There are questions raised on the attitude of the team, the mindset, their competence as well as preparation for the series. Experts like Sunil Gavaskar had already inquired why they didn’t play enough practice matches and now the players are being criticised for throwing tantrums ahead of the only warm-up game against Sussex.

They played the T20Is and ODIs before the Test series and there was a 13 days gap before the last leg of the tour. The team enjoyed a vacation and then assembled back in London. When it was learned that the hotel in Chelmsford didn’t have air conditions amidst the heat wave in England they decided to reduce the warm-up match from four days to a three-day affair.

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Senior journalist Vikrant Gupta while talking on Sportstak lashed out at the team for their off-field behaviour and interests leading into the series. He thinks while the focus should’ve been on preparing for the bigger challenge they rather enjoyed the time travelling around.

Players didn’t want to go to Chelmsford

According to Gupta for those who play in the heat of Chennai and Bangalore in India, the heat wave in England shouldn’t even be a talking point unless of course they just don’t understand the importance of playing the practice matches.

“The team assembled in London following the break, they had to travel to Chelmsford for the practice match. Since there was a heat wave in England and the hotel where they had to stay in Chelmsford during the game against Essex didn’t have air conditions the players wanted to abandon the idea of even going there.

They were staying at St. James’ Court hotel in London. Players had even said they won’t even go to Chelmsford, we don’t want to play the match we’ll just practice and stay in London. The hotel in London said, you need to check out as we have further bookings and that’s why they had to forcefully go to Chelmsford,” he said on Sportstak YouTube channel.

“There they went and threw all sorts of tantrums, no we won’t play a four-day match, they said we’ll just play for two days but then the Essex county requested please don’t do this we’ll face losses that’s when they agreed to play the third day. After that they went to Birmingham for practice,” he added.

Team doesn’t travel together

Gupta also highlighted a startling point that the players don’t travel in the team bus and rather prefer their own modes of transport which is against the tradition.

“This is also the first time that the players don’t travel together in the team bus, half of them travel by train some by bus. I’ve never seen this ever, it is unprecedented and will definitely hamper the team spirit, this will break the team,” he said in the post-match show after the Lord’s Test.

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