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I don’t know the reasons you don’t get first-class games before the series in England: Virat Collie

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Virat Kohli

Captain of India Virat Koli said his team wanted to play first-class games to prepare for a series of five tests against England in August, but their request was rejected for reasons unknown to him.

The Indian team, which lost the final of the Word Test Championship against New Zealand, entered the chess clash without any first-class play, while the champions prepared with two test series against England.

The Indian team will disperse on Thursday for a three-week break from the bio-balloon and will meet again in Nottingham on July 14 to prepare for the test series, which begins on August 4.

Asked if a few first-class games would be better, the captain replied that it depended on the people who created the route.

“It’s not up to us,” he said.

“Obviously we wanted first-class games, which I believe we were not given. I don’t know the reasons for that,” the straightforward Indian captain said during the post-match virtual media conference.

This would mean that there will be simulation games inside the team again, but the Indian captain believes that three weeks of training will be good enough for the series.

“The preparation time will be enough to be ready for the first test,” Collie said.

To put things in perspective, it was BCCI that asked the England and Wales Cricket Board to cancel two official first-class games that India had to play in July as a set-up for the Test series.

“We had a shadow tour in India A, which had to overlap with the tour of our senior team. In fact, we had two official first-class games between India and India A that were to take place.

“But then we came with a jumbo team and after discussions with the ECB the matches were canceled,” a BCCI source told PTI on condition of anonymity.

While the Indian skipper would like first-class matches against countries in the county or England Lions (country “A”), this would not be possible, as the domestic season is in the UK at the moment.

The district championship is included and is currently the internal T20 tournament “Vitality Blast” and it will be followed by the long-awaited “Hundred”.

It would be difficult for India to get a quality opposition to help them prepare for the test series.

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