Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane likely to lock horns as India is all set to play practice matches against India A during England tour in July 2021

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane likely to lock horns as India is all set to play practice matches against India A during England tour in July 2021

India has never played India A during an overseas tour before.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The year 2021 will see India and England face in two back to back Test series. After the conclusion of the series in India, which is scheduled to start on February 5, team India will travel to England for a five-match Test series in August and September. On Thursday, it was announced that ahead of that series, India will play two practice matches against India A. The matches will be a way of preparing for the Test series. 

This will also be the first time when two Indian teams will lock horns against each other in a practice match. After the recent success of the Indian team in Australia, it can be safe to assume that India’s bench strength is much better than any other team in international cricket at present. 

India fielded a bowling unit with all inexperienced bowlers which won the Gabba Test and secured the series win for India. The fact that India will face India A in those practice matches has raised the speculation that fans might see Virat Kohli’s team come against Ajinkya Rahane’s team. India will be most likely led by Kohli while India A could be led by Rahane. Intra-squad matches have become quite common now and since COVID-19, teams have chosen to play these matches rather than inviting other teams. 

India had complained about the quality of warm-up oppositions during the last England tour

Interestingly, India had complained about the quality of practice matches when they had last toured England in 2017. The general viewpoint was that county teams don’t field their best line-ups in these warm-up matches. This doesn’t provide the touring team with adequate practice before facing the international players. 

India will play India A in two back to back matches ahead of the five-match Test series. The first match will start on July 21 and the second will be played from July 28. Both the matches will be four-day games allowing the team to get ready with the match situation. 

The five-match series will kick off in Nottingham on August 4. The action will shift to Lord’s for the second Test from August 14. The third, fourth and fifth Tests will be played in Leeds, the Oval in London, and Manchester from August 25, September 2, and 10, respectively. India had lost the series 4-1 during the last series in England in 2017.