No avenue for Indians to work on batting frailties in England

India’s batting needs to get used to English conditions ahead of the five-Test series against England in August-September after their dismal show in the World Test Championship final, in which they aggregated just 387 in two innings. However, that may not happen as the team management’s request for practice games against county teams has not been accepted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

India have a month-and-a-half long gap before the start of the Test series and in between they have only intra-squad practice matches.

The team’s frail batting in conditions where the ball moves was exposed when it was dismissed for just 170 on the sixth day — the reserve day — and New Zealand snatched a victory from what looked like a certain draw.

“Well, that doesn’t depend on us,” said Kohli in response to a question on whether India will be playing practice games against county teams.

“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 yeah, other than that I think our preparation time will be ample for us to be ready for the first Test,” added Kohli.

The Indians were supposed to play India A in warm-up fixtures as per the initial plans.

However, the ECB had in April announced that the India A tour had been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“The India men’s team will instead tour with a larger squad to prepare for, and use during, the five-match Test series,” an ECB statement had then said referring to two four-day intra-squad matches.

On their previous tour of England three years ago in 2018, the Indians had played a three-day game against Essex prior to the Test series.

The number of warm-up matches ahead of an overseas series has gone down in recent times due to packed schedule, which has not allowed long stays in the country as was the case in earlier eras.

It has had adverse effect in England where the Indian batsmen have been found wanting against extra movement on English pitches.