Earlier this month, Team India thrashed England in the four-Test series 3-1 to book their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. Virat Kohli and company will now face New Zealand in the summit clash in Southampton from June 18-22.
One of the major issues for the Indian team heading into the finals will be their less practice in the traditional format of the game.
After the ongoing three-match ODI series against England, Indian players will feature in the 2021 edition of IPL, slated to be held in India across six venues from April 9 to May 30. Furthermore, there are no practice games scheduled before the all-important final.
Therefore, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to fly a large squad to England for the inaugural WTC final. This will ensure that the Indian team play intra-squad matches and fine-tune their Test skills after a lengthy season of white-ball cricket.
Hampshire Cricket chairman Rod Bransgrove also confirmed India’s plans to conduct intra-squad matches.
“As far as I know there are no practice games organized. I understand that they (India) are bringing in a lot of players to the hotel and they will be organizing their own practice games,” Bransgrove quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
He also revealed that the WTC finalists will be residing at the on-site hotel of the Ageas Bowl, but on different floors.
“Both teams will stay at the same hotel, albeit on different floors. We have 170 rooms in that hotel and accommodating the two teams is not a problem,” Bransgrove said.
Hampshire Cricket is considering having a few spectators for the historic final.
"I don't know how many tickets we are going to sell but I know there will be some public. Technically at the moment, no crowds are allowed for any sporting contest in the UK but we are hoping this will change later in the summer. By the time we play the final, there will be some crowd, we don't know how many," Bransgrove said, adding, "What we do know is it will be a fantastic occasion and it will be a great cricket wicket to play on and everyone will be very well looked after."
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)