Team India is all set to play a practice match in Durham from July 20. This development comes after Virat Kohli had publicly spoken about the lack of match practice post the World Test Championship finals. India had lost the match to New Zealand. The skipper Kohli told that not having a quality practice match hurt their chances in the game.
“We obviously wanted first-class games, which I believe have not been given to us. I don’t know what the reasons for that are”. Said Virat Kohli when he was asked about the preparations for the England test series. Hence keeping his views in mind, the BCCI arranged a practice match after consultations with the ECB ( England Cricket Board ).
This match is set to be played in Durham by India against Select County 11 team. It will be led by Will Rhodes and will feature player like James Bracey who recently made his test debut. Also the opener Haseeb Hameed who had a great series in his debut series in India in 2016 tour. Post that his form tapered off and he was dropped from the team. He will also be a part of the practice game.
Chances for India to iron out flaw!
It will be a 3 day game and both teams will clash each other at the riverside ground. Also, this would be the last practice game for India before the start of first test against England from 4th August.
With Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha out of the practice match, it will be interesting to see who takes the gloves behind the wickets for India. Accordingly the man who could keep wickets in absence of both the wicket keepers is KL Rahul who can also act as a back up wicket keeper. Hence the probable 11 of the Indian team for the practice match can be :
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul ( WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj / Mohammad Shami.
With Shubhman Gill out of the first 3 tests, Agarwal will take his place as an opener. Also, KL Rahul will keep the wickets for India. Moreover if the team management opts for 5 bowler stratergy, Jadeja will again bat at number 6 like in the final of the WTC. Also 3 of the four pacers would play in the game at Durham.