Ravi Shastri clarifies why India shortened their warm-up tie against Essex
India coach Ravi Shastri has said that India shortened their only warm-up match ahead of the Test series against England from four days to three so as to have an extra day of practice at Edgbaston, the venue of the first Test.
Originally planned from 25 to 28 July, the match against Essex in Chelmsford is now being played over three days, as Shastri believes familiarising themselves with the conditions at the venue of the first Test is "more important".
"[We are getting to] the Test match venue, because it wouldn't have served the purpose here [in Chelmsford]," Shastri said. "Instead of an extra day here, I think an extra day [of training] there would be more valuable ... more familiarity with the venue and the conditions where you are playing the first Test."
As a result, India are likely to reach Edgbaston a day in advance, on Sunday, 29 July, and will have three days of practice before the Test commences on 1 August.
The Indian coach remained upbeat about India's preparations in terms of acclimatising to the English conditions and disregarded claims that India were dissatisfied with the pitch and the outfield at Chelmsford, which was stated as one of the reasons why India had shortened the match.
"Nothing wrong [with the practice pitches]. There was no complaint from the Indian management about anything," Shastri said.Virat Kohli scored 68 on the first day of the warm-up tie against Essex
"On this entire trip, you will never see an Indian team giving excuses as regards to condit ions or the pitch. Our challenge is to beat them. We take pride in performing wherever we go. We want to be the best travelling side in the word. So the last person who will make a complaint will be this Indian team."
India vindicated Shastri's claims to some extent by finishing 322/6 on the first day of the warm-up game with captain Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik scoring half-centuries.
The first Test in Edgbaston will be followed by the remaining four at Lordâs (August 9-13), Trent Bridge (August 18-22), Ageas Bowl (August 30-September 3) and The Oval (September 7-11).Add Fixtures to Calendar