In preparation for their highly-anticipated clash against Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final next month, the Indian cricket team is set to engage in intra-squad matches. Recent reports suggest that due to the unavailability of several Indian players participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, the team won’t be able to participate in a practice match ahead of the summit clash.
Led by Rohit Sharma, India aims to regain their dominance in red-ball cricket after narrowly missing out on the WTC title to New Zealand last time. However, the team will have to rely on intra-squad matches to fine-tune their skills since the IPL commitments have made scheduling practice matches challenging.
Given that the Indian players will be arriving in England on different dates, an intra-squad match has been planned to ensure valuable practice sessions. It is worth noting that the Indian team resorted to intra-squad practice matches at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton prior to their WTC final against New Zealand in 2021 due to the pandemic.
According to sources, the team management is considering intra-squad matches as a viable option due to the large contingent of players traveling to England. In addition to the primary 15-man squad, the Indian team includes three reserve players and net bowlers. However, the full-strength squad will only be available after June 1, adding to the importance of intra-squad matches in allowing players to acclimatize and prepare for the crucial encounter.
The intra-squad matches will provide an opportunity for the players to simulate match scenarios, fine-tune their skills, and assess their form and fitness ahead of the WTC final. With the absence of traditional warm-up matches, the Indian team will rely on these practice games to build momentum and cohesiveness as they aim to emerge victorious against a strong Australian side.
As the Indian players gather in England, the focus will be on maximizing their preparation time through these intra-squad matches, ensuring that they are well-equipped and ready to deliver their best performance in the much-anticipated WTC final against Australia.