Has BCCI erred in not having a tour game between the 2nd and 3rd test?
India is fresh from winning after an epic turn around in the Lords test with their players working out in the gym and continuing their intense preparations for the next test. However, there is a gap of 9 days between the just concluded Lords test and the next test at Leeds. Was it not feasible for BCCI in coordination with ECB to arrange a 4-day tour game in between so that the Indian reserves who have not played for nearly 20 days could have got valuable match practice along with some players in the Lords test XI who are still below their best?
Has BCCI erred in not having a tour game between the 2nd and 3rd test? India did not play any tour match before the WTC final and paid a heavy price for it. However, a tour game was arranged before the first test in which all the leading bowlers had a great workout. And runs flowed for KL Rahul, who got a century and Jadeja who hit 50 plus.
Their form was soon replicate in the two tests that we have seen go by. Fresh from the confidence of a 100, Rahul who actually got his chance to play the 1st test due to an injury to first-choice opener Mayank Agarwal, never looked back and rattled up scores of 84, 26 and 129 in the first 3 innings of the series which had a great impact on India taking a series lead. Even Jadeja scored 56 and 40 in the first 2 innings, thus showing the confidence he gained after getting some useful runs in the tour game before 1st test.
As for the bowlers, after bowling sustained spells in that tour match, Bumrah came back in this series with a vengeance after a poor WTC final and others, all of whom who played in that tour game, looked in fine rhythm.
Therefore although India is leading in the series and England currently is looking out of sorts. It makes sense to utilise the current nine-day gap by having a tour game with all the Indian players, who are yet to play the tests in this series, playing in it. The match would also have helped those players in the middle order who are struggling like Pujara & Kohli. Rahane and Pant also would have liked this outing.
Above all, all the reserve players would have been match fit and raring to go. As there is no more any gap between the next 3 tests. Which are all back to back games and there is no time to recover. Should any injury occur to any leading player.
It is all very good winning test matches abroad but the BCCI needs to step in at times. And have their way to control the cockiness of some senior members of the Indian touring team. Who apparently does not feel the need of having tour games in between.
After all nothing helps like match practice.