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India tour of England: Head coach Rahul Dravid joins Test team in Leicestershire ahead of practice match


India head coach Rahul Dravid joined the Test team in Leicestershire on Tuesday, June 21 ahead of the much-anticipated rescheduled 5th Test against England in Birmingham. Dravid left for England from Bengaluru a day after completing his duties with the T20I team for a recently-concluded 5-match series against South Africa at home.

Rahul Dravid was seen interacting with the players as India players had their second training session in Leicestershire County Ground on Tuesday. This will be Dravid’s second overseas assignment in Test cricket after the “disappointing” series loss in South Africa earlier this year.

Notably, India’s training sessions in England were handled by bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and batting coach Vikram Rathour before Rahul Dravid joined the camp.

Even as a Rishahabh Pant-led side were playing T20Is in India, Test regulars, including Virat Kohli, captain Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara and Shardul Thakur among others left for England. While Kohli-led batch left from Mumbai on June 16, Rohit left a day later.

Notably, Pant and Shreyas Iyer had also left for England from Bengaluru on Monday.

India had begun training in London upon their arrival and moved its training base to Leicestershire on Monday, June 20. India will take on the Leicestershire county side in a 4-day practice match from June 24 before facing England from July 1.

There will be pressure on Dravid as the head coach has taken over from Ravi Shastri, who oversaw India taking a 2-1 lead in the 5-match series which remained incomplete after the 5th Test was postponed due to Covid-19 concerns last year.

“In terms of the Test match, it is obviously going to be exciting,” Dravid spoke of the rescheduled Test on Sunday.

“For us it is a one-off Test match, but it’s WTC points. It’s a series on the line for the guys who played a part in it [last year], and they are very keen to try and win that series and do well. So looking forward to that,” he added.

England have done very well and look like a new team with an aggressive mindset under new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. They have already defeated New Zealand in the three-match Test series, and have the lead of 2-0 going into Leeds for the final game.





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