England head coach Brendon McCullum said it will be a different “camp” to the one ahead of the tour.”There will not be a whole lot of training. The boys have worked incredibly hard in Abu Dhabi keeping in mind they all came here with a lot of cricket under their belts as well.
“We have had plenty of training days, two varying Test matches, and this is an opportunity to step away from the heat of the battle.
“I was talking to Rahul Dravid and he mentioned all his boys are shooting home as well. Home for us is a little way away, so we chose Abu Dhabi, and we are going to enjoy the families. Then when we get to Rajkot, we drop the shoulder and go hard.”
On his key batter Joe Root, who struggles in the first two Tests, McCullum said, “He’s a world-class player and as good as any player England has ever seen. His method (in the final innings of second Test), whilst people will look to the dismissal, look at the method of his option and he was trying to get the field back so he could milk them.
“It is the bravery you have to take at times, and sometimes you get out doing it, but that’s just the way the game rolls. There is no doubt from our point of view in that approach.
“There are three Tests left, still an opportunity to score a whole (lot) of runs.”
England found themselves on the receiving end of Jasprit Bumrah‘s sensational spell in the second Test. Despite this, McCullum anticipates that his players will devise a strategy to handle the significant threat posed by the star Indian pacer.
Bumrah ran through the England batting line-up, known for their ultra-aggressive Bazball approach, returning figures of 6/45 to help dismiss the tourists for 253 in their first innings and set up India’s series-levelling win in Visakhapatnam.
McCullum, also known for his aggressive batting during his playing days, was non committal when asked how England plan to deal with Bumrah in the remaining three Tests, simply saying that his team does not believe in theories.
“We don’t really do theories. It is about making sure the guys are totally clear and present, confident and have conviction in their method. They are a lot better than I ever was and they will work it out how best to go about it,” McCullum said.
“There are contrasting ways of going about it…we will see where we get to. For now, we have to tip our cap to Jasprit and say that spell (in the first innings of the second Test) was as good as anything we have seen so far on this trip,” he was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
The former New Zealand captain, however, lauded the skill-sets the Indian strike bowler possess.
“It’s all condition-dependent. When the ball is swinging like that he becomes even more of a threat. He is a fantastic bowler in all forms of the game. He is unique with his release points and with how much swing he can generate in the air.
“No doubt he is very good, but we have come up against very good bowlers all through the last 18 months or so and found ways to counter them and that is what we have got to do in this one.”
He also said that the 1-1 scoreline after two Tests was a “fair reflection that we’re in the contest”.
“We’ve played some really good cricket over the last two Test matches. Yes, we have come out on the wrong side of it here, but we got it across the line in the first one.
“The conviction about how we go about it is as strong as it ever has been. We have done some really good things over the last couple of weeks.”
(With inputs from PTI)