We wanted first-class games before England Tests but haven't been given: Virat Kohli

We wanted first-class games before England Tests but haven’t been given: Virat Kohli

The five-match Test series between India and England will commence on August 4.

Virat Kohli Press Conference
Virat Kohli Press Conference. (Photo Source: ICC)

India’s lack of match practice is being highlighted after their defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against New Zealand. India last played a first-class game against England at home and were coming after a break of almost a month post the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL). On the contrary, New Zealand played a two-match Test series against England and got very well accustomed to the conditions.

India could only play an intra-squad warm-up game which according to Sunil Gavaskar is not a proper real match practice. Once again now there is a game of more than a month before India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series starting from August 4. India have no warm-up games scheduled against the county teams and many eyebrows are raised over the matter now.

Rather Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, revealed in the post-match press conference that they had asked for the first-class game before the Test series but haven’t been given any. Instead, India will end up playing a four-day intra-squad game again from July 28 to 31.

“That doesn’t depend on us. We wanted first-class games but that’s not been given, I don’t know the reason. We have ample time for the first Test, we should be ready for it,” he said.

India lost 4-1 to England in 2018

Last time India toured England, they competed really well and though the scoreline reads 4-1, the series was extremely competitive. There were occasions where India seemed to have the game in the pocket before England pounced on them almost always. Their inability to wipe out the tail also has continued to haunt India for years now and it was also one of the reasons that they conceded a 32-run lead in the WTC Final.

On the flip side, India’s lower-order has been extremely poor for a long time now. Cricket has changed a lot and it has become imperative nowadays for the bowlers to at least hang around with the bat and put value to their wicket. Interestingly, it was their lower-order only that bailed them out of trouble in the Gabba Test in the first innings which India went on to win later.