India captain Virat Kohli questions utility of tour games

Kohli says quality of opposition and bowling important in tour games

Ajit Vijaykumar 2018/09/08

India captain Virat Kohli has questioned the utility of warm-up matches before Test series despite paying a huge price for its absence in two successive away tours.

India have lost the Pataudi Trophy 3-1 and now face the prospect of finishing the five-Test series 4-1 after The Oval Test. India lost the series in South Africa 2-1. Kohli’s team have now lost five out of their last seven away Tests and their lack of preparation has been blamed for their woes.

India did not play a single warm-up match in South Africa. In England, they played just one truncated warm-up match before the five-Test series and even took five days off before the first Test.

Compare that to Pakistan’s tour of England this year. Even though they were playing just a two-Test series, Pakistan took part in two warm-up matches, played Ireland’s inaugural Test, and had another warm-up game before the first Test. They drew the series 1-1.

However, instead of admitting that India need to play warm-up matches before Test series, Kohli questioned their importance.

Speaking to Michael Holding on Sony Liv, Kohli said: “Lot of people talk about tour games but where are those tour games happening and against what quality of bowling are very important questions to be asked.

“Because if you don’t get the preparation you need before a Test series, then it is actually not utilised well. Time is not utilised well if you don’t get the quality of opposition that you face in Test cricket.”

For the record, India faced reigning county champions Essex in their tour game which was reduced to a three-day affair on India’s request.

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