The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to send almost 44 cricketers to the tour of England in form of the India senior team and India A team.
This meant that BCCI has learned a lesson from the debacle of South Africa series, which India lost due to no practice games before the tour. Along with 18 seniors for the T20Is and ODIs against England and Ireland, 26 youngsters have earned a berth in India A.
The senior India team start their UK tour with two T20Is against Ireland in Dublin on June 27 and 29, and will then move on to England for a three-match T20 series from July 3, followed by a three-match ODI series from July 12. The five Tests — at Edgbaston, Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Southampton and Kennington Oval — will begin from August 1.
India A will kick off its tour with a tri-series followed by three four-day games — two against West Indies A (July 4-7 and July 10-13) and one against England Lions from July 16 to 19.
This move of BCCI was lauded by former cricketers in a big way.
Former India cricketer Vikram Rathour said, “I think it’s really good. Some of them are also playing the county. And now, with a few of them travelling with India A, it will give them some time to acclimatise. This could be a really good idea.”
“We had quite a lot of practice games. Cricketers played a lot of county but it stopped afterwards. In the later tours, there was hardly anytime spent before the Test matches,” said Rathour, who made his debut for India on the 1996 tour to England.
“As the main team is travelling to England at the same time, this gives the youngsters a great opportunity. If somebody does really well, he can get a chance. You never know, there could be injuries or loss of form for a senior player,” he added.
Former India cricketer and coach Madan Lal said, “It has never happened. This is great. You can go there and train to get used to the conditions. It is good that so many cricketers are getting a chance. The board is trying to create a bigger pool. It is a good sign in Indian cricket.”
“When you travel, it is important to do well in those conditions and earn an opportunity to play for India. This is their chance. At the moment, Indian cricket is doing well. There are so many talented players — like Sanju Samson, Ankit Rajpoot, Ishan Kishan to name a few — but only 15 players will be selected for the main team. But they are all as good as anybody else,” added Lal.
(With sportstarlive.com inputs)