India finally practice ahead of crucial Trent Bridge Test vs England

first_imgIndia maybe trailing the five-Test series against England 2-0 but they found time to practice only four days after crashing to an innings defeat at Lord’s. The second match got over on Sunday but the Indian team left London for Nottingham on Wednesday and made it to the ground on Thursday, two days before the crucial third Test.A lot rides on this Test – a defeat here will mean India cannot win the series. But victory looks like a distant dream even before a ball has been bowled at Trent Bridge. Barring Virat Kohli, the other batsmen have been abysmal. Murai Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik have been woefully out of form.Hardik Pandya, the specialist all-rounder in the side, has been so unimpressive that Harbhajan Singh wants the all-rounder’s tag to be removed from Pandya. Besides, former cricketers have been scathing in their criticism of the Indian team’s attitude.Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar wondered why India did not play more practice matches before the Test series. The team went on a five-day vacation after the ODI series got over and played just one-warm match which was reduced to a three-day affair by the Indians because it was too hot. And then after losing so convincingly at Lord’s, the Indian team decided to stay back in London instead of heading out to Nottingham early to get some valuable practice. Virat Kohli during India’s practice session at the Trent Bridge (Reuters Photo)”I can understand they have taken the day off today.. they are still licking the wounds of the defeat at Lord’s but they should have been planning to leave for Nottingham after today which would have been the last day of the Lord’s Test and practice from tomorrow,” Gavaskar told India Today.advertisementFocus on cricket: Hardik Pandya trolled after posting travel day photoFormer chief selector Sandip Patil wondered why the Indian team chose to rest instead of training hard for an important Test series. And he took a dig at Kohli, who had in his pre-departure press conference rather lightly said he would enjoy the coffee in England.”We all clearly remember captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri’s joint press conference before leaving for the tour of England earlier this summer. One bold statement stood out, “We have enough days to acclimatise in England and we are going to enjoy coffee,” Patil said in his column for The Quint. “Seeing the performance of the Indian team in the first two Tests so far, the team really seems to have taken their skipper’s statement seriously – they are truly only enjoying the coffee in English conditions.”READ – Upset with Lord’s defeat, BCCI likely to question Virat Kohli and Ravi ShastriIndia will most likely also train on Friday but is this enough preparation for a team which is trying to fight is way back in a tough Test series?Considering the way Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have struggled against the English attack, it is anybody’s guess whether two days of practice will be enough for the third Test.The final two Tests in Southampton and London are slated for August 30-September 3 and September 7-September 11. There is an eight-day gap between the third and fourth Test but the Indian team is not scheduled to play any practice matches. in that gap..Here is what the cricketing fraternity has had to say about India’s performance in the Test series so far:SUNIL GAVASKARI can understand they have taken the day off today (August 12).. they are still licking the wounds of the defeat at Lord’s but they should have been planning to leave for Nottingham after today which would have been the last day of the Lord’s Test and practice from tomorrow (Tuesday).But clearly as we have seen from the start of the ODI series, they are in love with London. You cannot get practice facilities in London as easily as you would in Nottingham – I hope they practice from Tuesday. And there should be no optional practice. Everybody needs to get down to practice There’s no such thing as optional practice when you are 0-2 down.You don’t just need net practice but practice matches also. One should strive for practice games between third and fourth Test as well when there is space. There may possibly be some new players coming in after third Test and they need some practice time as well. These things have to be thought about. I have been saying this since January when the South Africa tour was lost. But perhaps we are old fashioned, who don’t understand modern day cricket.advertisement Indian players and staff observed a one minute of silence in tribute of former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar (AP Photo)SANDIP PATILWe all clearly remember captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri’s joint press conference before leaving for the tour of England earlier this summer. One bold statement stood out, we have enough days to acclimatise in England and we are going to enjoy coffee. Seeing the performance of the Indian team in the first two Tests so far, the team really seems to have taken their skipper’s statement seriously – they are truly only enjoying the coffee in English conditions.In earlier days, it was grilled in our minds that we needed to watch, improve, practice hard, follow the senior players, learn from them and take their advice. But instead of taking the advice of players who have been on multiple tours of England, and have succeeded, Virat Kohli’s team seems happy to be enjoying the country’s coffee. Ravichandran Ashwin has been impressive with the ball so far in the series (AP Photo)NASSER HUSSAINEngland are arguably the best in the world in these conditions but the real eye has to be on India – they have to be wary of the wheels completely falling off. India are No.1 in the world and it was meant to be a gun, tight series but at the moment it is men against boys. Their curve is going in the wrong direction.READ – Nasser Hussain says England-India Test series is men vs boys at the momentGEOFFREY BOYCOTTSo far, the Indian players have let themselves and their supporters down. The batting has been so naive and irresponsible, it has bordered on stupidity. Wafting drives at tempting outswingers is thoughtless. Trying to work straight outswingers through midwicket and then being surprised when you get bowled or nick it to the slips is brainless. Playing the ball on the up in front of your pad is a no-no.These are elementary things you do not do against any decent swing bowler in English conditions. To try to do it to James Anderson, who is one of the great master craftsmen in those conditions, tells me the Indian batsmen have not done their homework. They have not sat down, talked or practiced in the nets and got their heads around how they are going to bat differently in England.India have come to England complacently and arrogantly thinking they can bat the same way and everything will be OK on the day. Any time you do not plan and work at your cricket, the game will kick you up the backside, and India deserve the thrashing they are getting.HARBHAJAN SINGHThe coach has to come on record, today or tomorrow he has to speak up. He is answerable to everyone. If India loses the series, then he might have to eat his words and admit that conditions do make a lot of difference. We haven’t showed any intent to fight back. The willingness to win is missing and that is most disheartening. We are losing without posing any challenge to the opponent. It is extremely disappointing.advertisementApart from all the harsh criticism that they have received from various cricket, Shastri is also under BCCI’s scanner after the debacle at Lord’s.”The COA has already mentioned this to Ravi Shastri, that after having sent the team so much in advance, allowing adequate preparation time (in English conditions), this kind of performance from the top order is not encouraging at all.”The Committee has also mentioned in its communication that they need to discuss this with the head coach. When the team returns, the CoA will have a meeting with the selectors at the first opportunity to discuss some of the procedures,” sources told The Indian Express. India vs England: Murali Vijay has been woefully out of form (Reuters Photo)”The Indian team can’t complain that they were not given enough time to prepare. When we lost the South Africa series, the players spoke about tight scheduling and lack of practice games. It was after speaking to them that we decided that white ball matches will be held before the Tests,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.Virat Kohli, ahead of the South Africa tour in January, had hit out at the scheduling and said that “as usual cramped for time”. This time when they were leaving for England, they had made it a point to mention that they have enough time to get acclimatised with the conditions and prepare accordingly. However, the results have not shown that practice and in fact, the batsmen have given their wickets cheaply. The Indian batsmen have faced the fiery pace bowling of Anderson extremely meekly and that’s surely not how one expects to see the world No.1 Test side.India will once more go into the match with just two days of practice and only time will tell if those two days were enough to correct their fault on the tour.last_img

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