Sydney, December 10
India would hope to get some answers about their team composition for the Tests when they take on Australia A in a Day/Night First-Class game from Friday. This match would be a dress rehearsal for the ‘Pink Ball Test’ in Adelaide, which will start on December 17.
This match may give opening batsmen Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw another chance to get valuable practice and impress the team management. Gill had made 0 and 29 in the first practice match against Australia A, while Shaw had contributed 0 and 19.Except Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the first innings and Wriddhiman Saha’s dour fifty in the second, there wasn’t much to write home about for India in that match.
Considering Shaw’s loose technique against quality fast bowling, and the fact that Gill is still trying to find his feet at the top level, Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri may prefer to bank on the experience of KL Rahul as opener.
The three-day game at the floodlit Sydney Cricket Ground will serve as simulation for the opening Test but the flat batting track here may not exactly be conducive for preparation, considering that Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough, according to Ian Chappell, will leave around 10mm grass cover on the strip.
The match may not feature Kohli, who has hinted that he wants to go on with his own preparation routine before the “Battle Royale”. “Playing it on and off is not my thing and I like to play the full game. I will talk to our physio and then decide on my participation,” Kohli had said after the completion of the T20 series.
Another other question would be whether India can afford to go into the Tests carrying five specialist bowlers, with perhaps an extra spinner in Kuldeep Yadav. Yadav has more experience of playing with the pink ball than his teammates and with the kind of revolutions he imparts to the ball, he could make it difficult for batsmen to spot the black seam of the pink Kookaburra brand ball under lights. India’s domestic batsmen faced this problem against Yadav in the first D/N Duleep Trophy held at Greater Noida in 2016-17. — PTI
Kohli may skip game
Sydney: Indian captain Virat Kohli could miss the second warm-up match for the Indians. Having played six limited-overs internationals — three ODIs and three T20Is — in 12 days, Kohli doesn’t want to risk being less than completely fit for the first Test, after which he would return to India.
“Let’s see how I wake up tomorrow,” Kohli said after the third T20I. “You know, I can’t play half-and-half. That’s me. I can’t just stand in slips and go through the motions. I need to wake up in the morning and see. If I feel great, I’ll definitely play. If not, I’ll speak to the physio and trainer and get a few days off and be fresh for the first Test.”
“I think before we go into the first Test, the feeling that we’ll want to have is that our games are at an acceptable level,” Kohli later added. Agencies
India will miss Kohli, but he has a life outside cricket too: Smith
New Delhi: Australian batting star Steve Smith has said though the absence of Virat Kohli in the last three Tests will be a big loss for India, the fans must understand that cricketers have a life outside cricket as well. Kohli will lead India in the first Test before returning to India to be with wife Anushka for the birth of their first child. “No doubt it is a big loss for India. We know Virat is a world class player and you got to give him credit for how much he loved playing down here. (But) He is also a human being and has got a life outside of cricket and a family that is starting,” Smith told reporters in an online interview. “Credit to him for wanting to be there for the birth of his first child. We know how much he loves playing in Australia and how good he is. Lots of credit to go to him for wanting to be there.” Agencies