Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan is of the opinion that the month-long preparation time for India will be useful. The Men in Blue will play a tough five-Test series against hosts England this summer and county cricket stints will help them get used to the weather conditions.
India will first play two T20 Internationals in June in Ireland. They will also squeeze in three T20s and as many ODIs as possible between July 3 and 17. The opening Test will be held at Edgbaston on August 1.
“There will be more than enough time to get used to the conditions. It certainly will give you enough time to get yourself acclimatised. Most players are playing in more than one format and the key players will get used to wickets and conditions,” said Zak at a press conference for the Pro Star league, where he is a mentor of the West Zone.
“One thing with England is the weather is not consistent. In overcast conditions the ball is going to swing. At the end of day you need the right frame of mind and right technique to deal with it as a bowler or batsman,”.
The former left arm bowler has 31 wickets from 8 Tests against England. He even played county cricket for Surrey and Worcestershire. Khan is currently an adviser for the U16 league.
Zaheer believes that the England tracks may be drier compared to the earlier part of the tour. “The weather is consistent around that time and the wickets may be on the drier side because the sun will be out,” he said.
India captain Virat Kohli plans to head to England in advance to play county cricket and prepare for the international cricket to follow. Zaheer admitted that it was an individual’s decision to adopt the same policy or not.
He also said that the fast bowlers’ work load needs to be managed properly. Zak suggested that the bowlers skip a few practice sessions instead of matches.
“Workload got to be managed is a fact, but you also need to be smart about it. I have always emphasised that match practise is the best practise. If you are in a good rhythm then that practise session is not going to help you in managing the workload. But lots of bowlers want to bowl before the match for psychological reasons. I never endorse staying away from matches just because work load is high. I managed my work load in the nets rather than by missing a match,” he continued.