Vengsarkar amazed with India's decision to take 20-day break post WTC final loss

Dilip Vengsarkar, also a former chief selector, feels India played well over the two-year WTC cycle but its preparation for the final against New Zealand was far from ideal.

"I don't know how we approach this kind of an itinerary where you go for a holiday in between and then come back to play Test matches," Dilip Vengsarkar said.

Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar is "amazed" after knowing that Virat Kohli and his men will be on a "three-week holiday" before the start of England Test series after "poor preparation" cost them the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

Vengsarkar, also a former chief selector, feels India played well over the two-year WTC cycle but its preparation for the final was far from ideal.

Quarantine restrictions allowed India to play only one intra-squad game before the marquee clash against a well prepared New Zealand cricket team.

"India did extremely well over this cycle but what cost them in the final was poor preparation. They went into such a game without any practice games. New Zealand, on the other hand, were match fit having already played two games (against England)," he told PTI on Friday.

The players have a three-week break before they reassemble in the UK on July 14 for the five Tests against England beginning in Nottingham from August 4.

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It must be mentioned that the six-week break between the WTC final and first England Test is due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocols for any Indian traveller going to the United Kingdom.

"I don't know how we approach this kind of an itinerary where you go for a holiday in between and then come back to play Test matches. One week break was enough post the WTC final. I am amazed this itinerary was approved."

Skipper Kohli had spoken about the need for the batsmen to show more intent while scoring runs when the conditions are tough for batting like they were in Southampton. Vengsarkar claimed Kohli and his team should have also shown intent in their preparation.

"If he is talking about intent, then why didn't the team prepare properly for this match? Where was the intent then? They should have have played at least two four-day games."

"You want to know whether the players are match fit or not by playing those games. The fast bowers will know what lengths to hit straightway only in those practice games," Vengsarkar said.

India missed a fast bowling all-rounder in the eleven and played two specialist spinners -- Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja -- also because of their batting abilities. With Hardik Pandya not fit enough to bowl regularly in the format, the selectors ignored him for the UK tour.

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"If he is not available, then you think about somebody who is available. In cricket, nobody is indispensable. Unfortunately, BCCI doesn't have a proper talent spotting team. They should pick someone from the U-19 level and groom him," added Vengsarkar.

India is yet to win an ICC title under Kohli's leadership and that remains a mystery for Vengsarkar.  "I feel if you play in countries like England, you should play best of three games to know where the team stands."

"Because after this Test, if we had two more games, the outcome of the final could have been different with India having already played a game. I don't know why they are not able to win (an ICC title). They have the combination and the players do it."

For the moment, Vengsarkar also doesn't see any merit in the split captaincy debate. "If Virat is good enough to play in all formats which he very much is, then he should continue leading the side. He should only be replaced if he doesn't merit a place in the side."

"ODI captain playing under Test captain and vice versa, I dont believe in that. If Joe Root is playing under Eoin Morgan in ODIs, I don't agree with that because he is also good enough to lead that side," the 65-year-old said.

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