What India can learn from Pakistan's preparations for England tour

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If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. If you ever needed an example of it, just look at the Indian team in England.

Virat Kohli’s team is being heavily criticised for its abject surrender in the second Test against England at Lord’s and its lackadaisical approach towards training.

Not only did the Indians take five days off before the first Test in Birmingham, they played just one warm-up match that was shortened to a three-day game.

After they lost the Lord’s Test in effectively two days, the Indians did not hit the nets for three days and are likely to train only by Thursday ahead of the third Test which begins in Trent Bridge on Saturday.

While techniques can’t be changed overnight, preparation can always be of the highest possible level. It is here where the Indians have failed and they only need to look at how Pakistan prepared for their Test series in England in 2016 and 2018 to understand the value of proper training.

In 2016, the Pakistan team attended a military boot camp at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul before the England tour.

Pakistan team celebrate after winning the 2016 Lord's Test.

Pakistan team celebrate after winning the 2016 Lord’s Test.

Players were put through three training sessions every day. Also, the team trained with English Duke balls for nearly a month in Lahore. The tour of England included two proper warm-up matches before the first Test. There was another tour match between the second and third Test. Pakistan drew the series 2-2.

Cut to 2018 and Pakistan followed a similar schedule. Even though they were playing just a two-Test series in England, Pakistan were ready for red-ball cricket. They took part in two warm-up matches, played Ireland’s inaugural Test, and had another warm-up game before the first Test. They again drew the series 1-1.

India, meanwhile, did not play a single warm-up match in South Africa earlier in the year before the first Test. They lost 2-1. Then for England, they tried to stitch together a disjointed training system which included white-ball international matches, by having Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma play county cricket and some other members with the ‘A’ team in England. However, the entire Test squad played just one three-day match before the first Test and even took a long break. No one should be surprised that India are 2-0 down.

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Shoaib Malik of Guyana Amazon Warriors.

Pakistan star all-rounder Shoaib Malik joined a select group of T20 stars as he crossed the 8,000 run mark in the Caribbean Premier League.

During the course of his 38-run knock for the Guyana Amazon Warriors against Barbados Tridents, Malik became just the fourth batsman to score 8,000 runs in the 20-over format.

Caribbean legend Chris Gayle leads the list with 11,575 runs followed by Brendon McCullum (9,188) and Kieron Pollard (8,225).

Interestingly, Malik doesn’t have single century in the T20 format but has 47 fifties.

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Pakistan Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan gifted signed cricket bat from Indian team

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Pakistan Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan with Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria. Image: Govt of India/Twitter.

Pakistan‘s Prime Minister-elect and former captain Imran Khan was presented a cricket bat signed by the Indian team when India’s High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria visited him at his residence.

Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in the July 25 election. He will take oath as Prime Minister on August 18.

The Indian envoy met Imran at his Banigala residence in the suburbs of Islamabad.

Bisaria also felicitated Imran on behalf of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed various bilateral matters.

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