With the Indian Cricket Team players now back in the bio-bubble ahead of the all-important Test series against England, the squad regrouped and took part in a training session, clips of which were uploaded by the BCCI. The focus will now shift to the upcoming practice match against the County Championship XI which will be played in Durham from July 22.
This will be India’s first action on the field since their heart-breaking World Test Championship Final loss to New Zealand almost a month ago. Following the final, the players had been given a 20-day break from the bio-bubble.
Indian opening batsman Mayank Agarwal, who was dropped from the starting XI against England during the Test series in India, has emerged as a strong contender once again following Shubman Gill’s injury. Mayank is likely to open the batting along with Rohit Sharma against England.
Talking about the team’s training session in Durham, Mayank said that it was good to regroup. This was Team India’s first intense practice session and excluding the players who are in quarantine, every one took part in it.
“It was good to regroup and come to the Durham cricket ground. It was not a heavy session but it was a session where we all got together, grouped, and played together. We just want to ease into things,” said Mayank.
He also went on to mention that practicing in the actual ground where the feel of the wickets and the condition is more realistic helps them prepare better.
“Obviously getting a chance to hit at the ground and the open net is fantastic. It feels good to play in the actual ground so you get the real feel of wickets, conditions, and everything else. It’s more of a top off but the main session is at the ground and which is available to us which is great,” he added.
India will take on the County XI in a three-day match at Durham’s Emirates Riverside Stadium.
However, things haven’t been exactly smooth for the Indian side since their return from break. Maverick wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant tested positive for COVID-19 on July 8 and he’s currently in isolation. Pant wasn’t in the team hotel and is unlikely to have affected anyone else. He’ll be allowed to join the rest of the squad after returning two negative RT-PCR Tests.
Training assistant Dayanand Garani also tested positive on July 14. Along with him, three other people – bowling coach Bharat Arun, wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, and opening batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran – were also placed in 10-day quarantine as they had been in close contact with Garani.