The India tour of England delivered brilliant contests. The series was heading towards a thrilling finish when COVID-19 reached the Indian camp, forcing India to pull out of the 5th and final Test in Manchester. The cancellation of the fifth Test was a massive setback to England as it led to heavy financial losses. However, both boards have now agreed to play one Test in England next year to cover up the losses. It’s not clear if the Test will be part of the 2021 Test series or will be a one-off game.
India is set to tour England in July for three ODIs and as many T20Is. Earlier, there were reports that India may play two additional T20Is on the tour but both boards were keen to play the Test. Earlier ECB CEO Tom Harrison had said that if the cancelled Test is played later, it will be a one-off Test and won’t be part of the previous Test series. However, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was firm on the Test being part of the series.
If the match is the continuation of the postponed series, which India leads 2-1, this will present Virat Kohli-led India a great opportunity to win a series in England. India’s last series win in England came in 2007 when Rahul Dravid led the team to a 1-0 win.
Meanwhile, England is set to visit Australia for the Ashes later this year. However, given the COVID-19 restrictions in the country, many senior players may pull out of the series. ECB recently received a proposal from CA where they detailed the restrictions that will be in place during the Ashes. While there is no clarity on what the restrictions are, it is understood that they are not as rigid as was expected which mean that England may be able to send a full-strength team to Australia.