England right in arriving late in India ahead of Test series: Stuart Broad

Former fast-bowler Stuart Broad said England is right in arriving late in India ahead of the Test series opener, saying such an arrangement led by captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum is to have more control around the team schedule in a heavy cricketing calendar.

England will be having a training camp in Abu Dhabi before arriving in Hyderabad three days ahead of the series opener against India on January 25. “The decision to fly to India only three days before the first Test next month is not England minimising preparation — Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, as coach and captain, are controlling it.”

“In cricket, when you tour a country, arriving weeks early, the warm-up pitches, quality of the nets, the matches you play, and your travel schedule are seldom arranged to help you. So McCullum and Stokes are taking ownership of this period leading up to the series opener in Hyderabad on January 25 rather than leaving it in someone else’s hands,” wrote Broad in his column for Daily Mail on Sunday.

The series in India is billed to be the biggest challenge for Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, especially in terms of their ultra-attacking style of play and continuing with it in spin-friendly sub-continental conditions. England had won the series opener in Chennai in 2021, but lost the series 3-1.

Broad also wrote about how the training camp in Abu Dhabi might help England have a great preparatory environment ahead of Tests against India. “At a 10-day Abu Dhabi training camp, McCullum can choose the net surfaces, control the middle practice, ramp up a day’s training and minimise flying.”

“I’ve been to countries where you are due to train in the afternoon only to get there and discover the nets have been watered and covered. That’s no good. In Abu Dhabi, England will feel like the home team.”

“Ultimately, we will only know if it’s right or wrong on the result. If England get bowled out for 80 and concede 500, Abu Dhabi will have been a failure, but if Ollie Pope gets 270 and Jack Leach takes a 10-for, it will have been a success. This is neither a lack of match-readiness nor disrespectful to India.”

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