After losing the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs, the England cricket team decided to leave India and fly to Abu Dhabi. Like the first match of the series in Hyderabad, the second match in Visakhapatnam ended in four days, with hosts India tying the series with an impressive all-round performance. With nine days to go before the third Test in Rajkot, the Ben Stokes-led team thought it would be better to use the break to relax.
England cricketers are set to enjoy golf and other recreational activities in Abu Dhabi before returning to India ahead of the third assignment of what has been a fascinating match-and-ball contest in Rajkot on February 15.
The team management, led by captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, believe the break would allow the English players to refresh and resume their bid to repeat what Alastair Cooks’ men did in 2012.
England prepared for the much-anticipated Test series against India with an extensive conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi rather than arriving early in the subcontinent for practice matches.
During the Abu Dhabi camp before the series, the England team spent a lot of time working on ways to take on the Indian spinners. While they recovered to emerge winners in the first match, the English batsmen were impressed by Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliant display of reverse bowling in the first innings of the second Test before succumbing in a record 399-run chase to a disciplined unit of India bowled in their second innings.
‘We are a sensible team’: Ben Stokes after defeat in Vizag
India dismissed England for 292 runs in their second innings on the fourth day to register a 106-run win that leveled the series in the second Test on Monday.
“Being 2-0 up would have been great for us, but that’s the nice thing about a five-match series, it’s the end of the series where everything counts,” Stokes told reporters.
“We are a very no-nonsense team and that allows us to put things behind us, move on to the next thing and focus there.”
Stokes, whose team handed India only its fourth defeat since 2013 in the opener, said: “Last week we were pretty level even though we had achieved something quite special. We recognized that but we didn’t go too high.”
“Same this week, in the locker room we are still very optimistic about some of the great things we have managed to do, even though we didn’t get the result we wanted.”