India to reach Bristol two days ahead of Test match

Smriti Mandhana training in the nets. © BCCI Women Twitter

India are likely to travel to Bristol – the venue for the only Test against England, which will begin Wednesday (June 16) – two days before the fixture. 

Currently practising along with the men’s team at Ageas Bowl, Southampton, which is the venue for the World Test Championship final, the Indian team would be leaving for the County Ground in Bristol on Monday (June 14), according to a report by the Times of India.

“The women’s team have started training around the same time as the men’s team. They will reach Bristol on June 14,” a BCCI official was quoted by TOI.

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The current plan might leave the Indian team with less time to get acclimatised to the conditions in Bristol. However, the quarantine restrictions have given them no other choice.

The teams entered the bio-bubble in Southampton with a mandatory 10-day hard-quarantine period. The protocol was relaxed after three days, and the players were allowed to train in groups of three or four. 

From Thursday (June 10), they were allowed to train as a team at Southampton. With the 10-day quarantine ending on June 13, the Indian contingent will be travelling to Briston on Monday (June 14).

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India will be playing a Test match for the first time in seven years. The last time they visited England for a Test match in 2014, India won the only Test match by six wickets. As many as eight players made their debut in the historic Test match at Wormley seven years ago.

With the series being a multi-format one with points for each game across formats, both the teams would want to start the tour with a victory in the Test match at Bristol.