The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to use the ‘A’ tours as preparation for the senior team’s overseas Test assignment in future. During the road-map meeting in Bangalore on Tuesday (March 27), the board took the decision to make some changes in the scheduling and preparation time for the hectic away tours.
As per the reports in Indian Express, it was decided that the BCCI will now plan its India A tour before any overseas tours of the senior team. Besides sending its fringe players, the ‘A’ squad will have players from the senior Indian team who will train under the mentorship of legendary Rahul Dravid.
Just a week ago, it has been announced that the Test specialists such as Murali Vijay and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will land in England in June as a part of Dravid-coached India A side that will be playing a number of first-class games against county as well as England Lions (A) side. India’s tour of England will kick off from July 3 where they will play three T20Is and as many ODIs before featuring in a five-match Test series from August 1.
There were also plans to organise an A tour ahead of Australia series Down Under later this year, but with Cricket Australia refusing it India A team will travel to New Zealand. The concerned individuals featured in the board’s meeting are – Bharat Arun (India’s bowling coach), Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), the India-19 support staff Paras Mhambrey and Abhay Sharma along with the new general manager of cricket operations of the BCCI, Saba Karim.
“The board had no choice than to request New Zealand to have an ‘A’ series around that time. It won’t be as similar conditions like Australia but it will help Indian players to get used to the overseas conditions. So mostly India A will have two three days games followed by one dayers in New Zealand,” sources in the BCCI told Indian Express.
Shortly after a jam-packed home season in 2017, Team India had landed in South Africa on December 29. The world No. 1 Test side were slated to play a two-day warm-up match against South Africa before the first Test on January 5. However, the Indian team management had opted out of the practice match and rather conducted their own training sessions.
As soon as India conceded the first two Tests and the series, blame game had started with head coach Ravi Shastri admitting that another 10-15 days of preparation in the rainbow nation could have been ideal for the visitors. Moreover, India captain Virat Kohli was critical of board’s planning.
“Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario but we have to sort of make do with what we have,” Kohli had said.