Reports claim that Indian players had asked BCCI to either cancel or shorten the year-ending Sri Lanka tour in 2017, as they wanted to prepare for South Africa. India's poor performances against South Africa, as they lost two consecutive Tests, has led many to criticize them for lack of preparation.
The series loss versus South Africa has hit the heart of every Indian fan who had their hopes high as the team ventured to achieve the impossible in the rainbow early this month. However, the only thing that bothered both fan and critics alike was India’s lack of preparation ahead of the tour.
Though India had planned to prepare South African conditions while hosting Sri Lanka in Kolkata Eden and Dharamsala, the batting order had failed to perform on both occasions and their recent struggles against South Africa was more than expected. Their lack of preparation was further spoiled by the long Sri Lankan tour that lasted for over a month.
Skipper Virat Kohli had even complained about the congested schedule during the second Test. The tour ended just three days before India
"As usual cramped for time, which I think we needed to assess in future as well because we very easily assess the team when
A Times of India report has now claimed that players had asked the board to either cancel or schedule the series to free up ample time for the side ahead of the tour.
“The Indian team and the management had conveyed to the BCCI that it needed to tweak the series against Sri Lanka – by either cancelling the three T20 matches or by replacing the Test series with six ODIs at best – so that the team could be free at least two weeks earlier than what turned out to be the case,” the report read.
2018 would be a crucial period for the Indian team as they have two more overseas tours lined up after the, with Ireland and England respectively. Hence, the series versus South Africa was mooted to stand as a morale-boosting endeavour for the rest of the year.
Countering this, BCCI sources has claimed they had offered certain members of the side to leave for South Africa early but the team did not see any logic in sending one or two individuals early.
“What purpose does it solve to send Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane alone? A team stays together and that’s what the focus was. As for the practice game, well, they (Cricket South Africa) offered us two lame tracks for the warm-up game and it made more sense to do our own thing instead of playing an odd game for the sake of it,” a member from the team India camp said earlier.
India and South Africa will play the third and the final Test at Johannesburg, starting 24th January.