ENG vs IND: Indian team in England has started their training sessions at Durham today ahead of their three days practice match against County Championship team XI. Team India is slated to play a three-day practice match from July 20 to 22 at the Riverside Ground in Durham.
The BCCI today has shared a picture from the team’s training session which was very much liked by fans. Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes will head the 14-man squad which comprises test debutant James Bracey & Nottinghamshire opener Haseeb Hameed who made his test debut against India in 2016.
“The squad was selected after consulting with the first-class counties on player’s availability & to provide some of the high potential talents from across the county match with the opportunity to test themselves against the ICC WTC finalists”, said the ECB in an Official Statement.
The county players will be placed into a team environment & will undergo a COVID-19 test before being cleared to play the practice match. Team India will use Emirates Riverside as a home venue for their preparation for the five-match test series against England.
The need for warm-up matches was felt after the WTC final when Virat Kohli expressed his frustration over the lack of practice matches before the test series. So BCCI requested ECB to arrange for at least one practice match against County Championship ahead of the crucial five-match test series.
Earlier on Friday good news came for the Indian Cricket team in England. A source within the BCCI informed that all the Indian team players including 3 quarantined members of the team who were deemed as close contacts for Dayananda i.e. wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, backup opener Abhimanyu Easwaran & bowling coach Bharat Arun have tested negative for COVID-19 in the first round of RT-PCR tests conducted on Friday.
As per the reports, there are chances that Pant may play the second match which is scheduled for 28th July as his quarantine period will end on 18th July, whereas Saha will have to stay in quarantine until 24th July. Also each & every member of the Indian team touring England will have to undergo regular flow tests for the next seven days as per the BCCI release to mitigate any further risks. There are also reports that in the absence of Rishabh Pant & Saha, KL Rahul will be considered for the role of wicket-keeping & opener during the five-match test series against England.
Three days practice match will be played behind closed doors & will be a part of India’s warm-up schedule ahead of the five-match test series against England starting from August 4.