India vs England 2021: Hosts begin training in Chennai, coach Ravi Shastri welcomes squad


The Indian cricket team finally began their nets session on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming four-match Test series against England, beginning February 5 at Chennai. Head coach Ravi Shastri welcomed the entire squad by giving a rousing speech and then the entire team hit the nets to prepare for the series. 

“Day 1 of our nets session in Chennai and it is Head Coach @RaviShastriOfc who welcomes the group with a rousing address. #TeamIndia #INDvsENG,” tweeted BCCI.

The Virat Kohli-led India squad had their first outdoor training session on Monday ahead of the first Test against England. Three RT-PCR tests for coronavirus were conducted at regular intervals and all the Indian players were tested negative.  

The hosts were then cleared to begin their nets sessions from Tuesday as they have completed the six-day quarantine. Meanwhile, the England squad also returned negative results in their third coronavirus test done on Sunday and is out of quarantine.  

The Joe Root led squad will begin training later on Tuesday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The England squad will practice for the first time as a full group for three hours later on Tuesday to get into the groove ahead of the four-match Test series. 

“England PCR Test Results – 1 February 2021. All PCR tests from Monday’s test have returned negative results. The England party is now out of quarantine and will train for the first time as a full group at the stadium tomorrow afternoon 2 pm-5 pm (IST),” said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) media team on Monday.

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Rory Burns began their training for the first Test against India on Saturday as the trio had arrived earlier after being rested for the Sri Lanka tour. India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The first two games of the Test series will be played in Chennai before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test. 

Meanwhile, the second Test between India and England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, slated to begin from February 13 will have 50 per cent crowd in attendance, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary RS Ramasaamy confirmed on Monday. Earlier in the day, a BCCI official confirmed that fans would be allowed inside the Motera Stadium for the third and fourth Test between India and England. 

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Sagar Biswas

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