Indian Cricket Team to leave early for England
The Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) has decided to send the Indian players to England 10 days in advance. India's tour of England begins on 3rd July with a three-match T20I series followed by as many ODIs and the eagerly awaited five-match Test series.
There was widespread criticism of the board as the Indian team's departure to South Africa was delayed to accommodate a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. The Men in Blue didn't play a tour match either, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat in the Test series.
“One thing is certain. If the Indian team had spent at least 10 days in South Africa before the first Test, it would have made a lot of difference to the end result. The team is determined that each player gets enough time and exposure in England before the actual series begins,” a board official told TOI.
“The idea is to park more and more players in England and ensure that the cricketers are ready for the entire series. With England also scheduled to host the 50-over World Cup next year, this tour is very important for us.”
Moreover, the team is expected to start their preparations a month before the commencement of the tour. On top of that, the Test specialists might even feature for the Rahul Dravid-coached India A team on their tour of England and there are talks of resting the top players for the historic Test match against Afghanistan, which starts on 14th June, as well.
England are set to host the ODI World Cup next year and the two-month long tour is probably the most important foreign assignment for Team India this calendar year. Post the England tour, the Men in Blue will play the Asia Cup and then host West Indies before travelling to Australia and New Zealand.