After losing the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs, the England cricket team decided to leave India and fly to Abu Dhabi. Just like the series-opener in Hyderabad, the second match in Visakhapatnam ended in four days with the hosts India levelling the series with a commanding all-round performance. With the third Test in Rajkot nine days away, the Ben Stokes-led side thought it would be better to utilise the break relaxing.
The England cricketers are set to indulge in some golf and other recreational activities in Abu Dhabi before returning to India ahead of the third assignment of what has been a fascinating contest between and ball in Rajkot on February 15.
The team management led by captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum believe the break would allow the England players to freshen up and resume their bid to repeat what the Alastair Cooks men did in 2012
England prepared for the highly anticipated Test series against India with an extensive conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi instead of arriving in the subcontinent early for practice matches.
During the Abu Dhabi camp before the series, the England team spent a lot of time working on ways to tackle the Indian spinners. While they rallied to emerge winners in the opener, the English batters were blown away by Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliant exhibition of reverse swing bowling in the first innings of the second Test before succumbing in a record 399-run chase to a disciplined Indian bowling unit in their second innings.
‘We’re a level-head team’: Ben Stokes after loss in Vizag
India dismissed England for 292 runs in their second innings on day four to register a series-levelling 106-run win in the second Test on Monday.
“Being 2-0 up would have been great for us, but that’s the great thing about a five-match series, it’s the end of the series where everything counts,” Stokes told reporters.
“We’re a very level-headed team and that allows us to put things behind us, move on to the next thing and concentrate there.”
Stokes, whose team handed India just their fourth loss since 2013 in the opener, said: “Last week we were pretty level even though we’d achieved something pretty special. We recognised that but we didn’t get too high.
“Same this week, in the changing room we’re still very upbeat about some of the great stuff we’ve managed to do albeit not getting the result we wanted to.”