Ind vs Eng: Limited overs matches not ideal preparation for Test series, says Chandrakant Pandit
Ex-Mumbai captain and successful coach Chandrakant Pandit, who has guided the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions, Rajasthan and Vidarbha to win the national championships, felt it was a wrong move to go into the first Test without Cheteshwar Pujara
Chandrakant Pandit, Indian cricket's finest domestic coach at the moment, reckons India faltered with their preparation for the opening Test against England and that led to the 31-run loss at Edgbaston on Saturday. "We must play at least three to four side games prior to a big five-match Test series to help getting used to English conditions. Though we played a few games in England and Ireland, they were limited overs matches and that can't be considered as ideal preparation for a Test series of this magnitude. We certainly lacked good preparation while heading for the Test challenge," Pandit told mid-day on Monday.
The ex-Mumbai captain and successful coach, who has guided the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions, Rajasthan and Vidarbha to win the national championships, felt it was a wrong move to go into the first Test without Cheteshwar Pujara. "We need a player like Pujara in the playing XI. He's a specialised Test batsman who possesses the best technique to counter swing bowling. The best thing about Pujara is that he is not desperate to do something; he has a lot of patience. We need a batsman like him to stay on the wicket," said Pandit.
Meanwhile, Pandit, who guided Ajinkya Rahane when he was Mumbai's coach, felt there is nothing wrong with the India vice-captain. "I have no doubts about Ajinkya's technique. It would've definitely helped had he had a few practice games under his belt. A batsman's chances of committing mistakes are high when he is not scoring runs. Once he gets some runs, Ajinkya will be as competent as Virat Kohli and can contribute in a similar way," said Pandit, 56, who made his Test debut at Leeds in 1986.
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