Team India fielding coach R Sridhar isn't too concerned about the side being underprepared ahead of the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand. The Kiwis have been in England for more than a week and will play a two-match Test series against the host nation, starting today.
Many see it as a significant advantage for New Zealand as they will have more time to get acclimatized to the English conditions. However, R Sridhar believes the Indian players will be "more than ready mentally" to make up for any lack of match practice ahead of the WTC final.
"Don't think not having game time is a worry at all. I feel being underprepared could work in our favor because our players will be more than ready mentally. It's akin to playing with an injury. When you are injured - you begin to concentrate much more and are more alert from the word go. Also, our players have been playing nonstop cricket for the last few months. It's unfortunate that the IPL had to be suspended. I am sure that the players are keeping themselves fit during this period of quarantine and will be fresh for the WTC final," Sridhar said in an interaction with The Times of India.
India will soon fly off to England and undergo three days of hard quarantine once they arrive in London. The Indian players are already quarantining in Mumbai ahead of the tour.
"We all know what's expected in England" - R Sridhar
Another element that can be a deciding factor in the WTC final is the usage of the English Duke balls. But R Sridhar explained the team are banking on the experience of previous English tours to try and adapt to playing with the Duke balls.
"We have trained and played with the Dukes balls before and so we all know what's expected in England. The experience of touring and playing in English conditions before will hold us in good stead during our trip to England," R Sridhar added.
India last played against New Zealand in two Tests in 2020, losing the away series by a 2-0 margin. However, Virat Kohli and co. have taken giant strides since then and are currently the no.1 ranked Test team in the world.
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