After losing in the first World Test Championship final to New Zealand, India’s players and management are determined to leave nothing more as the Test series against England approaches. Team India to play intra-squad games. Similarly, the BCCI had requested a first-class match as a warm-up for the England Test series, which begins on August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Team India to play intra-squad games in Durham before England Tests: BCCI Reports
The Indian Test team will regroup in Durham in 15 days to prepare for the five-Test series, according to reports, and will play two intra-squad games at Durham’s Riverside Ground before departing for Nottingham. While the BCCI was in negotiations with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to secure two games against county sides, the BCCI was unable to do so due to Covid-19 and the need to preserve the bio-bubble.
“The itinerary was made keeping the Covid protocols in place. It’s difficult to get County teams in the same bubble as the Indian team. The ECB is very careful about the safety of the players. The Indian team bubble will be made in Durham,”, a BCCI source confirmed in an Interview.
Team India will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine in the UK Ahead of the England Series
Interestingly, Indian captain Virat Kohli recently stated that despite requesting a first-class warm-up game prior to the Test series, they were not given one. “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 has to play the WTC final in the same manner. On June 3, the team arrived in the United Kingdom, where they were subjected to a 10-day quarantine. Unlike New Zealand, India only had an intra-squad game to play, which many felt insufficient preparation.
Practice games have never been a part of the England tour’s plan from the beginning. The ECB’s concern over warm-up games is understandable, since allowing county players to enter India’s bio-bubble and interact with the team may expose the visitors to Covid-19.