Indian captain Virat Kohli has claimed that his team had requested some First-Class matches to prepare for the forthcoming Test series against England but were denied the opportunity for some unknown reason.
A major talking point in the lead-up to the recently concluded World Test Championship final was the difference between the preparation quality of India and New Zealand. While champions New Zealand had played two Tests in the host conditions beforehand, India had to make do with a solitary intra-squad game.
Now despite there being a one-month gap between the WTC final and the first India-England Test, India might not be able to get a practice match in. However, Virat Kohli exuded the belief that despite this, his team will have 'ample time' to be fully prepared for the series.
"That [getting some practice matches] doesn't depend on us. We obviously wanted First-Class games, which, I believe, have not been given to us. I don't know what the reasons for that are but other than that I think our preparation time will be ample for us to be ready for the first Test," Virat Kohli said in the post-match press conference for the WTC final.
New Zealand trounced India by 8 wickets in the WTC final to lift their first ICC trophy in more than two decades. Unlike the Indian bowlers, who struggled for consistency, the Kiwi pace-attack was on the money from the second session and didn't give India any opportunity to pull the Test in their favor.
"You can't be too worried about getting out" - Virat Kohli's advise to his batsmen ahead of the England series
Virat Kohli was asked if he, as the top-scorer of India's last tour of England, would like to offer any suggestions to his fellow batters ahead of the crucial series. In reply, the captain said not getting too anxious losing their wickets and focussing more on scoring runs as a batting unit was important for them.
"I don't need to give any suggestions. I think we are collectively trying to put enough runs on the board as a batting unit and as I said, the mindset has to be to score runs and find ways to score runs. You can't be too worried about getting out because you will bring the bowler into the game completely. That's probably the only thing we need to focus on.
"We know that as a batting unit if we consistently put up 300 on the board then you know it's a different kind of pressure on the opposition with the kind of bowlers we have. We understand that and our endeavor will be to keep working on those plans and try to execute them every time we bat," Virat Kohli added.
The 5-Test series will kick off from August 4 at Trent Bridge and will continue until September 14.