After South Africa Tour, the next major challenge for India will be the Test series against England at home. The five-Test series starts on January 25, while the final Test will be played in March. England would be keen to turn their fortunes around in 2024 as last time they lost 3-1 on Indian soil. Ahead of the series, former England pacer Harmison who is also a close friend of Stokes questioned England arriving in India just three days before the five-match Test series.
He felt that the lack of acclimation could turn out to be a recipe for disaster. He also went on to claim that England could go on to “deserve to get beaten 5-0”.
“If England go in three days before, they deserve to get beaten 5-0, they really do. I’m an old man. And that’s what they’re going to say: ‘Times have changed, the game has changed.’ But I tell you what, preparation hasn’t changed,” Steve Harmison said in a video which has gone viral.
“You cannot go into India underprepared. You cannot go into India over-prepared. You could be in India six weeks before and still not be prepared for that first Test and the emotion of that. You talk about (Kevin) Pietersen, and you talk about (Andrew) Strauss and (Alastair) Cook in that great side. The only side to have won there. What would they have said if you told them that you are going to India three days before.
“To be honest, I love this new approach. I love Ben Stokes, the Brendon McCullum approach, obviously Rob Key, and everything that they have done, ECB have done. But I’m sorry, going in three days before [the India series]. You would never do that for an Ashes Test series.”
Good job we’re going to Abu Dhabi for a training camp before we go to India for even more training before that 1st test then isn’t it. https://t.co/2Q0qCOEbFO
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) December 28, 2023
“Good job we’re going to Abu Dhabi for a training camp before we go to India for even more training before that 1st test then isn’t it,” Ben Stokes replies on the post.
Meanwhile, Stokes is in a race against time to get fit for the series. The experienced all-rounder had recently come out of ODI retirement to participate in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, where he played as a specialist batter. His issues with his knee have prevented him from playing his role as an all-rounder effectively as he has rarely bowled as of late.
He went for knee surgery after the World Cup which was successful and now it is time for him to undergo rehabilitation.
With ANI inputs
Topics mentioned in this article