London: The Indian team management has decided to give a three-week break to its players after the World Test Championship (WTC) final. This will be done to address the mental fatigue that might be triggered by lengthy spells in a bio-bubble for the players.
The WTC final against New Zealand will be played June 18-22 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The members of the Indian squad will disperse for close to three weeks (20 days) before regrouping July 14 to prepare for the five-match series against England starting in Nottingham from August 4.
“As skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri had told the media at the pre-departure press conference, there will be a break. There is a six-week gap between WTC final and opening Test against England. So we had to address the issue of players’ well-being. Within UK, they can disperse off, go for a holiday, meet friends and family,” a senior BCCI official stated Tuesday.
Obviously, there could be some team get-togethers also but players would be free to choose how they want to spend their time.
“Most of them have gone to the UK multiple times. They have friends and acquaintances around the country. It’s only fair that they can switch off,” informed the source.
In fact, skipper Kohli, during the pre-departure June 2, had answered a query. He was asked if the 42-day gap between the two assignments would affect the team’s preparations. Kohli had termed it a ‘welcome break’ for the team.
“After you are done with WTC, I think it’s a great opportunity to refresh and restructure. Hopefully, if things are okay, out in England, we would have finished our quarantine period and just for the guys to be normal for a few periods of time just disconnect again,” Kohli had said back then.
Kohli had said that the break can rejuvenate them as a series against England can be very daunting. “That kind of set-up is very important before we go into a lengthy series. Test series in England can be challenging and daunting so we want to have most amount of time before that series,” Kohli had said back then.
Head coach Shastri had also echoed his skipper’s sentiments.