India’s four-day practice match against county side Essex was reduced to three days after the Indian team management made a request to the England and Wales Cricket Board. It is learnt that the team management wants to conserve the players for the five-Test series. A BCCI official close to the team management said tha the players feel that they will be much better off practising an extra day in Birmingham, the venue for the first Test. The heat in Chelmsford is also a reason for the decision. It may be recalled that the team management had decided against any tour game ahead of the Test series in South Africa earlier this year. However, a lot of questions were raised about planning a tour for a big Test series after the Indian team lost the three-Test series in South Africa. India will play the first Test against England starting August 1 in Birmingham and the last Test will be played from September 7 to 11.