Sydney, November 17
The Test series against Australia is one full month away, but the Indian players, led by captain Virat Kohli, seemed focussed on the Tests as they practised in simulated long-format match conditions today, complete with the pacers using red and pink balls.
Before the Tests, India and Australia play six limited-overs matches, including three ODIs and three T20Is.
Today, all top batsmen and bowlers who are in all the three squads were seen taking part in the practice session. The likes of senior pacer Mohammed Shami and youngster Mohammed Siraj were seen bowling to Kohli in a video posted on Twitter by the captain himself. “Love Test cricket sessions,” Kohli wrote with the video.
Kohli will feature in the limited-overs matches and the first Test, starting December 17 in Adelaide, before flying back to India for the birth of his first child.
The video showed the players using the centre strip of the ground with a proper Test match field and a batsman at the non-striker’s end, which is a deviation from traditional net sessions. Given that the players had been busy with the shortest format for the IPL for two months, they seem to be prioritising long-form cricket for now.
Opener KL Rahul facing the pink ball was an indicator that he is in line to be picked up for the first Test.
In another video, posted by the BCCI, Shami was seen bowling in tandem with youngster Siraj. The 30-year-old Shami, who took 20 wickets from 14 matches for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, is part of all the three squads.
Siraj, who is part of only the Test squad, followed his senior teammate and was seen sending down a few deliveries as other senior players watched him bowl. The 26-year-old, who has played one ODI and three T20Is, took 11 wickets from nine matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
On Monday, the star-studded batting line-up was seen gearing up for the lively Australian pitches with the traditional tennis ball training, after having competed on slow tracks during the IPL. — PTI