Southampton, June 24 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may be called the strongest and richest board in the world, but it does not seem to have enough strength to get some county games for its team, which is sedative in England.
India’s loss in the World Test Championship (WTC) ended chinks in its blow against the moving ball as New Zealand bowlers got the ball talking and picked the arrows regularly, advancing India to 170 on the sixth – reserve – day and putting their team on road to victory as it looked like the test would end in a draw.
While the team had no warm-up matches in the quarantine period before the WTC final, the lack of competitive practice matches, especially against counties over 41 days between the end of the WTC final and the start of the first Test against England on August 4, will give them little chance to be acclimatized and improve their self-confidence.
India skipper Virat Kohli said they wanted to play matches against counties between the WTC final and the England Test series. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) did not allow it.
In the absence of matches against county sides, India was expected to play India A. But the tour in India was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now they are left with only internal team matches to overcome chinks. “Well, it does not depend on us,” said Indian skipper Virat Kohli in response to a question about whether India will play practice matches against county teams.
It then looks likely that the team will have to prepare for what they have in England. At best, these games within the squad will be glorified nets.
“I think our preparation time will be ample for us to be ready for the first test,” Kohli said.
But as proved by the loss in the WTC final, before which the Indians played a team within the team, a preparation without competitive matches against county teams is not enough.
The BCCI may have known this, but then it does not seem to have been skewed to push the case against the ECB or the ICC.
kh / qma