New Delhi: The Indian men’s cricket team left for the upcoming two-month long tour, featuring series against Ireland and England, from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Saturday.
India are heading into the clash on the back of their crushing win by an innings and 262 runs in the historic one-off Test match against minnows Afghanistan inside two days.
England, on the other hand, are fresh from their five-match ODI series win over Australia. They have already clinched the series by winning the first three games.
Meanwhile, Ireland recently made their Test debut against Pakistan at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground in Malahide, where the latter went on to win by five wickets.
Yesterday, Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who was ruled out of his maiden English county stint due to a neck injury, had confirmed that he was absolutely fit for the upcoming series against England.
Earlier, the 29-year-old sustained the injury during his campaign with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was subsequently forced to miss his much-debated maiden English county stint with Surrey.
Reflecting on the same, Kohli had said he successfully underwent the fitness test and that he was “completely ready to go” for the upcoming series.
“I am 100 percent ready to go. The neck is fine now. I’ve had six to seven sessions in Mumbai. I’ve had a good practice and I am absolutely ready to go. I went through the fitness test as well so the body is feeling fine.I am actually very excited to get back on the field,” he had said.
The swashbuckling batsman further said that being 100 percent fit was his main priority, adding that whatever had happened was for the best.
“I wanted to be 100 percent fit for the tour and wanted to go there fresh. This thing that happened was the best thing.although not intended but happened in the best way,” he said.
When asked about his side’s playing strategy in the English conditions, Kohli said that as professional players they just needed to focus on the field and perform as a team and not as individuals.
“Winning mindset is something that is important. It is also not about one or two players but team performance- which will be the focus,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian coach Ravi Shastri had showed belief in players.
“We don’t play the opposition, we play the pitch. Our job is to conquer the pitch. It remains the same where we go, may it be Johannesburg or Wankhede. The boys know their job,” the Indian coach said.
India are slated to play two T20I against Ireland, starting June 27 before the Kohli-led side will head to England for three-match T20I series, three-match ODI series and five Tests.
The squads are as follows:
India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Siddarth Kaul and Umesh Yadav. The two games are scheduled for the 27th and 29th of June, respectively.