Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes that not playing enough practice games is the reason behind India’s poor performance in the ongoing Test series versus England.
Sarfraz compared India’s performance in England to that of Pakistan’s and said that Pakistan fared better because they had plenty of practice games before the Test series.
The wicket-keeper batsman has been a part of two Pakistani teams that traveled to England recently. In 2016, Sarfraz played under Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy and the team drew the series 2-2. For this Test series, Pakistan had arrived in England 25 days before and had indulged in a training camp for ten days. The team also played two practice matches before the first Test and then one more after the completion of the second Test.
Sarfraz Ahmed then returned to England in 2018 as the captain of the team and enjoyed success as his team drew the Test series 1-1. Before this series, Pakistan played two practice games and played one Test match against Ireland.
On the contrary, India played only one practice match before the start of the first Test and even this practice match was reduced to three days from four days.
According to Sarfraz, playing practice matches allowed his team to prepare in a better manner for the Tests and this has made the difference. He said that his team’s preparation was better and they got better results.
India’s policy of not playing practice games has a lot to do with India’s busy cricket schedule and also with Virat Kohli’s perspectives. Kohli declined practice games when his team traveled to South Africa in December last year as well and had claimed that customized net sessions are as good as practice games.
Currently, the Indian team is in all sorts of troubles as they have lost both the Test matches so far and have to up the ante in the third Test to keep the five-match Test series alive.