You can practice not applying saliva to the ball during practice sessions, but how can you practice not shaking hands after toss? Adapting to changes can be difficult especially the ones we have followed for decades. Jason Holder had almost made the error last month, but on Wednesday, Pakistan captain Azhar Ali, and his England counterpart Joe Root committed the error, thus forgetting COVID-19 rules.
Following the toss at the Old Trafford Cricket ground in Manchester, before the start of the first Test of the three-game series, Azhar and Root, inadvertently shook hands after the toss only to realise the rules immediately. Both shared a laugh.
Azhar won the toss and opted to bat first.
"We want to be clear in our heads, can't control the weather. We are playing two leggies. Thanks to ECB for whatever facilitates they have given us. Very prepared for this Test match. You can't replace Test cricket with practice games. We prepared very well and looking forward to the game. We miss the crowd for sure, but at least we are getting to play some cricket and they can enjoy from home," he said after winning the toss.
England went in with the same playing XI as in the third Test against West Indies implying that Ben Stokes will play solely as a batsman, thus leaving out Zak Crawley.
"It was really good to go home and see the baby. Getting out of the bubble refresh your mind mainly. We are coming unchanged into this game. Ben is not quite 100% fit, so we don't want to take that risk. The guys have to stand up and perform. We are aware that we have to work on starting the series well," said Root.