India Tour of England: Virat Kohli-led Team India will leave for a long and tedious tour of England today (Wednesday) evening and reach UK tomorrow (June 3). They will play the World Test Championship Final (ICC WTC Final) against New Zealand and a five-match Test series against England. The men’s team will leave from Mumbai on a chartered flight arranged by the BCCI. Kohli & Co will be travelling with their families besides Mithali Raj-led women’s team.
India’s tour begins with the ICC WTC Final against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand on June 18. Once the Test finale ends, Virat Kohli & Co will have a break of 42 days before they face Joe Root’s England in a five-match Test series. The series will be the first of the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle.
Team India’s 24-member squad including four standby players are currently serving 10-day quarantine in Mumbai along with their family members. The BCCI has also got clearance for cricketers’ families for the tour despite a travel ban in place for India.
India Tour of England: Itinerary for Virat Kohli’s Team India
However, it will not be the end of quarantine for the Men in Blue. After arriving in the UK, Virat Kohli & Co will take a three-hour bus ride to Southampton where they will be placed in “managed isolation” in the team hotel as per UK’s public health requirements.
As per the ICC, the players’ activity will be allowed in a gradually increasing manner after each round of negative testing. Initially, players will be allowed to exercise only in isolation and as negative tests come, they will be allowed to train in small groups. Later, they will be able to train with the full squad but will remain in bio-bubble.
Team India men’s schedule: Virat Kohli & Co’s first assignment will be the ICC WTC Final at Rose Bowl in Southampton against New Zealand. The match starts on June 18 with a provision for the sixth day. Before the ICC WTC Final, India wanted to play an intra-squad practice match but that seems unlikely with the managed isolation period. As per information available with InsideSport, Virat Kohli & Co will have to be in isolation for three days in Southampton hotel and produce three negative tests.
After the ICC WTC Final, the men’s team will have over a month of break before the 5-match Test series against England. During the break, Team India can leave the bio-bubble and will be able to travel to different places in the UK. However, it has not yet been decided whether there will be another bio-secure bubble in place for the England Test series. During the period, India will hit the nets and play intra-squad practice matches to prepare for the England series.
The 1st Test against England will begin on August 4 and Team India will move to Nottingham three days before the match. It will be yet another three-hour bus journey for the team.
India Tour of England fixtures: Men’s
ICC WTC Final: India vs New Zealand, June 18-23 at Rose Bowl, Southampton
1st Test: England vs India, August 4-8, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
2nd Test: England vs India, August 12-16, Lord’s, London
3rd Test: England vs India, August 25-29, Headingley, Leeds
4th Test: England vs India, September 2-6, Kennington Oval, London
5th Test: England vs India, September 10-14, Old Trafford, Manchester