Why was it Right to Call off the 5th England and India Test Match

There has been a heated debate whether the cancellation of the fifth and final Test match between England and India at the Old Trafford, Manchester was the right call. It is still not clear whether the Test match will be rescheduled or not. The ICC is yet to give a statement on this England vs India game.

It all started on the morning of Thursday, where the Indian cricket team’s only physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar had Tested positive for coronavirus. The Indian team had to cancel their training session just one day before the Test match, which was to begin on Friday; September 10. 

Yogesh Parmar was the second physiotherapist on the Indian side. He was the only one with the team and looking after some of the injured players as their lead physio Nitin Patel had to undergo isolation. 

The results on Thursday evening showed that all the team members returned negative and expected the Test match to go ahead. However, on Friday morning, it was announced that the Test match has been indefinitely postponed. This lead many people, especially Englishmen, to criticized India’s “way of winning” the series.

But was it right to call the Test match off? 

Indian Cricket Team
India leads the series 2-1

Why the cancellation of the fifth Test match makes sense

This may quite be a debatable topic, but if we look at things deeply, calling the Test match was the right call. 

Yes, in India’s point of view it is the right call. But they have a heavy schedule ahead of the series. They are scheduled for the IPL, immediately followed by the T20 World Cup, an unscheduled New Zealand series at home, and South Africa tour before they return to England for the white-ball series. 

A non-stop cricket is ahead for the Men in Blue and it can tire them, especially with the players suffering from the Bio-bubble fatigue. 

As for England, they have the Ashes and the West Indies series – a gap of almost two months between these two series – after the T20 World Cup. Their heavy schedule will begin in the mid of 2022, where they will play six series across four months. This includes two each of Test series, ODI series and a T20I series. 

The fatigue of the bio-bubble has made many players leave the series in the past. Some of the players have even had mental health issues. Such is the recent example of Ben Stokes, who took a break from all cricket to focus on his mental health. India captain Virat Kohli backed Stokes’ decision and stated that more players will follow

Some of the players such as Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan pulled themselves out of the IPL. The result has been bubble fatigue and a long winter ahead. They have the Ashes comping up this winter and England want their best possible team to get ready for the iconic series. 

Screens saying England and India Test Match Canceled
England’s statement on India before and After

English fans blame IPL for the cancellation

The second phase of the IPL 2021 will begin on September 19 and most of the players have left already on the chartered flights. Players will go through a six-day quarantine when they will arrive in the UAE. 

This made an opportunity for many English fans to blame the famous Indian Premier League for the cancellation of the Test match. Even former captain Michael Vaughan was not afraid to share his thoughts on Twitter. 

And let’s not forget that India is leading the series 2-1. Many Indian fans pointed out that had England done the same if the scoreline was in England’s favor. 

When the match was called off, England media were quick to state that India had “forfeited” the Test match and hence the scoreline was 2-2. But India simply could not have fielded the XI without any of their physio not present. England changed their announcement that the Test match was canceled.

Team India has already offered a reschedule of the final Test match and said that they will work out with the ECB and find a suitable window. Most preferably the England-India white-ball series next year. It is doubtful that they will host a one Test match after the T20 World Cup. 

Also read: How Pakistan’s T20 World Cup Squad is Logical but not Justifiable?

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