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England team lands in Rajkot after break in Abu Dhabi

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NewsDrum Desk
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Rajkot, Feb 12 (PTI) Fresh from a one-week break in their pre-series base Abu Dhabi, the England cricket team on Monday returned to India for the remainder of the five-match rubber against the hosts, which is locked at 1-1 after two games.

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The England landed in the city -- venue for the third Test -- on Monday evening.

After their 106-run loss in Visakhapatnam, the England players opted to utilise the 10-day break between the second and third Test by relaxing and playing golf in Abu Dhabi.

The third Test is scheduled to be held here from February 15.

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The visiting team will begin training at SCA Stadium from Tuesday morning, while the India players will practice in the afternoon.

A day before their return to India, England were dealt a blow with their frontline spinner Jack Leach ruled out of the remaining three Tests with a knee injury.

However, no replacement will be called up for Leach, an indication that England will continue with the spin trio of Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Basheer for the rest of the tour.

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Joe Root is the visitors' fourth spin option behind the three regular spinners.

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.

The second match ended with a day to spare as hosts India, having lost the series opener, staged a remarkable comeback to level the series 1-1.

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During the Abu Dhabi camp prior to 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.

The fourth and fifth Tests will be held in Ranchi and Dharamsala. PTI AH AH ATK ATK

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