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  Sports   Cricket  23 Jun 2018  India bank on scope and hope

India bank on scope and hope

THE ASIAN AGE. | SAYAN MUKHERJEE
Published : Jun 23, 2018, 2:24 am IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2018, 2:24 am IST

The England tour will unfold in reverse order, three T20s (the first match begins on July 3) followed by three ODIs and a five-game Test series.

India coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli in New Delhi. (Photo: Biplab Banerjee )
 India coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli in New Delhi. (Photo: Biplab Banerjee )

New Delhi: Notwithstanding an underwhelming record in England, India embark on their 71-day tour in buoyant mood, encouraged by an impressive limited overs display in South Africa.

India went into a three- Test series in South Africa without a warm-up match, losing the first two matches as the batsmen struggled to counter the bounce of Protean pitches.

 

The world’s top ranked team though won the inconsequential third match riding on the wicket-taking ability of their pacers to gain in confidence, which helped them dominate the hosts in the ensuing ODI and T20 series’.

The England tour will unfold in reverse order, three T20s (the first match begins on July 3) followed by three ODIs and a five-game Test series.

Prior to the England tour, India play two T20s against Ireland. In 2014, India lost a five-match Test series in England 1-3.

Coach Ravi Shastri is aware irrespective of their limited overs show, they will be judged by their performance in the Test matches.

And he insisted preparations for the traditional format were bound to be different considering the number of competitive limited overs matches that precedes the five-day games.

 

“Playing in T20s and ODIs will give us ideal preparation for the Tests though our endeavour will remain the same in each format. We would like to improve our basics, our aim is to strive for consistency,” Shastri said here on Friday, also emphasising that fitness may take precedence over form while selection of players for the team.

“Performance in Tests in SA bolstered our belief which helped us to win ODIs and T20. Our job in England will be to conquer the pitch. Players have to adapt to the conditions.”

Skipper Virat Kohli wasn’t short on optimism either.

“By the time the Test series comes, we will be comfortable with the conditions and will be prepared mentally,” he said.

 

“In SA, we didn’t excel collectively in all three departments. Our aim is to improve on that though we will respect the fact that the conditions are different. However, our strategy will remain the same.”

A neck injury scuttled Kohli’s personal preparations for the tour, his planned country stint with Surrey scrapped altogether.

The right-handed batsman said it had been a “blessing in disguise”, also reminding that his critics had harped on his poor form in India’s last England tour in 2014 for “too long”.

“The neck is fine. I am ready to go. I had quality practice sessions and also went through a fitness test in Mumbai. The amount of cricket we play nowadays, this kind of break makes you excited to go back to the field again,” the 29-year-old added.

 

Players’ contract payments cleared
Indian cricketers’ central contracts were cleared by the cricket control board at a special general meeting here on Friday ahead of the long tour of the UK.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators had announced the revised players’ contracts on March 7 but BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had refused to sign off, saying it needed the general body’s approval, which came through in the meeting attended by representatives of 28 state associations.

Tags: test series, ravi shastri