India to travel to England with a jumbo squad for the WTC final

India to travel to England with a jumbo squad for the WTC final

There are no warm-up games scheduled for India before the WTC final.

Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin
Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

India had scripted a memorable victory in the four-match Test series against England by 3-1 to book a berth for themselves in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship against New Zealand, scheduled for June 18 to June 22 at Southampton. One of the major problems for the Indian team going into the finals will be their less practice in the longest format of the game.

After the ongoing three-match ODI series against England, Indian players will be busy playing the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will run from April 9 to May 30 in India across six venues. Also, there are no warm-up games scheduled before the final. Thus, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to send a jumbo squad to the English nation for the WTC final.

This way, the Indian team will be able to host the intra-squad matches in England to get attuned to Test cricket after a lengthy season of white-ball cricket. Also, it is expected that the large Indian contingent can travel to England just after the conclusion of the T20 Championship so that the players will have enough time to get accustomed to the weather and playing conditions.

However, the same is not the case with the New Zealand side as before the WTC final they are scheduled to play two-match Test series against England, from June 2-6 (at Lord’s) and June 10-14 (at Edgbaston).

India and New Zealand to stay in the same hotel

India’s plans regarding conducting intra-squad matches were confirmed by Hampshire Cricket chairman Rod Bransgrove as he revealed, “As far as I know there are no practice games organized. I understand that they (India) are bringing in a lot of players to the hotel and they will be organizing their own practice games.” 

Further, it is learned that both the team will be residing in the same hotel, The Ageas Bowl, but on different floors. “Both teams will stay at the same hotel, albeit on different floors. We have 170 rooms in that hotel and accommodating the two teams is not a problem,” Bransgrove said as quoted by Cricbuzz.

At present, UK has strict rules in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but Hampshire Cricket hopes that there will be some relaxation in lockdown rules as they are planning to allow the presence of a certain number of viewers in the stadium while hosting the final.