Reports: Virat Kohli rejected BCCI's proposal of having Test specialists early in South Africa

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Reports: Virat Kohli rejected BCCI's proposal of having Test specialists early in South Africa

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SportsCafe Desk


After India cancelled their practice games in South Africa, it is now learned that Virat Kohli had reportedly also rejected BCCI’s proposal of sending Test specialists early. BCCI has reportedly never had problems arranging practice games ahead of the overseas tours, but the current team declined.

India’s preparations for the ongoing tour of South Africa had come under criticism during the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka after skipper Virat Kohli had revealed that the cramped schedule had hardly given time for them to prepare for South African conditions.

"Unfortunately, we (will) get only two days before the flight to South Africa after this series gets over. So we have no choice but to be in game situation and think of whats coming ahead of us. Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario," Kohli had said during the series against Sri Lanka.

The team was scheduled to play a practice game against South Africa Board President’s XI prior to the main series, but considering their hectic schedule, the Indian cricket team decided to cancel it and opt for a ground for training sessions.

Despite a few surprises with their pace bowlers, the Indian team has started on a predictable note in the series as they went down to the Proteas by 72 runs in the opening match. After the loss, there have been questions over India’s move of cancelling the warm-up game, and now a report suggests that BCCI had even proposed the side to send their specialist batsmen of the longest format to South Africa, but the team management rejected it.

“The BCCI had offered Indian team management that the core group of Test team can be sent to South Africa early. Players like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane are not part of limited-overs cricket and were playing local cricket here. The BCCI was ready to bear the cost but team management showed no interest and declined the offer,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

“We were even ready to let top players skip ODI and T20 legs of the series against Sri Lanka.”

India’s poor performance in the batting department was the main cause of their loss in Cape Town as their batting line-up struggled to handle South African pace attack. In the post-match conference, however, Kohli replied in his own way when asked about the decision of cancelling the warm-up games.

"We were very well-prepared. I don't think we felt any lack of preparation. Even they got out for 130 in the second innings and they play here all the time. It was a wicket where things were happening every day. We let ourselves down with the bat, that's for sure," the captain said during the post-match press conference.

It was not the first time when the Indian board has offered this idea. Earlier, former Indian players used to grab this opportunity to get an idea of the surface and easily adjust to the atmosphere. While the senior team is in South Africa, the U-19 team is in New Zealand to participate in the U-19 World Cup. And Rahul Dravid, who is the coach of the team, had asked for an early visit to the country as the colts have no prior experience of the Kiwi conditions.

“Players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman were sent to Australia or New Zealand where they played with local teams before joining the Indian team. The BCCI has no problem in arranging practice games before any overseas tour. It’s the team management which has to take the call. When Dravid had requested for the early trip to New Zealand the board straight away said yes as these Under-19 boys have not played in New Zealand before,” the source claimed.

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