Reports: ECB green signals BCCI’s request, India likely to get tour games ahead of England series
Team India recently suffered an eight-wicket loss in the WTC final against New Zealand.
Updated - Jul 2, 2021 1:54 pm
England will host Team India in a five-match Test series, starting from August 4. This series will also mark the start of the next World Test Championship final and both teams must leave no stones unturned to emerge victorious. To help the players adapt the conditions, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has requested the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to conduct a couple of tour games for the Virat Kohli-led team.
BCCI made the demand after India suffered an eight-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the recently-concluded ICC World Test Championship final. Many reckoned that some players were ‘rusty’ due to lack of match practice which cost India the prestigious title. Owing to this, BCCI wants its players to sweat it out in the practice games ahead of the marquee series against the Three Lions.
While an official announcement is yet to come, Cricbuzz reported that ECB has accepted the BCCI’s request of scheduling a couple of warm-up matches for the visiting team. Notably, the initial plan was for the tour was India to play India ‘A’ in two first-class games, who were also due to travel to the UK around the same time. However, COVID-19 concerns and travel restrictions shelved the plan.
Practice games could determine India’s playing XI in the series
Nevertheless, Virat Kohli’s men will eventually get a couple of warm-up games ahead of the crucial tour and they must make optimum utilization of the opportunity. Notably, performance in these warm-up games could well determine India’s combination in the series. With Shubman Gill sustaining a leg injury, the likes of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Prithvi Shaw are in contention to take the opening slot.
Moreover, several reports also suggest that some veterans including Cheteshwar Pujara might be dropped to test the youngsters. Hence, all the players in the squad should unleash their A-game to stake a claim in the playing XI.
Meanwhile, India had hosted the Three Lions in a four-match Test series earlier this year where they won 3-1. However, the home advantage will be in England’s favour in this series, and replicating their heroics won’t be easy for the visitors. Hence, it would be interesting to see how the series unfolds.