The Indian cricket team is in England to complete their five-match Test series which ended prematurely last year due to covid concerns. The contest was originally to be played in Manchester but has since been rescheduled and shifted to Edgbaston where it gets underway from July 1.
Back then, there was some criticism for India pulling out of the contest with the likes of Michael Vaughan insinuating that the match was cancelled because the tourists wanted to play IPL rather than Test cricket.
Now, Paul Newman, a former English cricketer, in his column for the Daily Mail has written that India let down the ‘paying public’ by not playing in Manchester last year and termed their reason for pulling out as ‘laughable’.
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“The arrival of India to complete a Test series that should have ended at Old Trafford last summer is a reminder of how they let down the paying public and Test cricket by pulling out of the final game on the morning of the match,” Newman wrote.
He continued, It was laughable when the cancellation was blamed on Covid concerns and a game India never wanted to play was abandoned when they put the IPL before Test cricket and set a dangerous precedent.”
India were leading 2-1 and were the favourites to clinch the series. However, England have been in red-hot form at home having recently completed a 3-0 clean sweep of world champions New Zealand in a three-match Test series.
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Newman is hoping that the visitors will ‘regret’ their decision to not complete the series last year. “It can only be hoped they regret their actions when they come up against an England side on the crest of a wave and much more likely to square the series now than they were last year,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, a big question mark remains over the availability of India captain Rohit Sharma for the one-off contest after he tested positive for covid earlier this week. If he doesn’t make the cut, in all likeliness, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah could lead the side.
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