India’s opening practice in Caribbean: Rohit’s pitch inquiry, Kohli and Jadeja bat with high intensity

PTI, Jun 18, 2024, 8:13 AM IST

Credit: X / @BCCI

Bridgetown: The Indian team meant business in its opening practice session in the Caribbean leg of the T20 World Cup with Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav going the extra mile in their bid to make an impact in the Super 8s.

Kohli did not allow himself to settle on the tricky pitches of New York and after the group stage of the ICC event, his scores in the three innings read 1, 4 and 0.

The experts and fans are expecting the superstar to fire when it matters the most — the Super 8s and the knockout stages of the tournament.

India play Afghanistan in their opening Super 8 fixture at the revamped Kensington Oval here on Thursday.

Jadeja too has not made a notable contribution thus far, be it in the batting or bowling department. To be fair to the star all-rounder, he has been required to bat only once while he was not needed that much with the ball on the pace-friendly surfaces in New York.

Kuldeep’s case is different as he is yet to feature in the playing eleven. However, he is expected to make a significant contribution in Caribbean conditions where spinners have had an enjoyable time.

All the squad members turned up for the practice session as India had not entered the field after completing the New York leg on June 12. Since no training or play was possible in Fort Lauderdale due to bad weather, the players were keen to make the most of the session on Monday.

The New York pitch was the subject of constant criticism and the focus now shifts to the surfaces being offered in the six venues in the Caribbean. 200, considered a par score in the IPL, has been breached only twice in the tournament and only in the Caribbean. Even 150 has proved to be a fighting total more often than not.

Pitch kaisa hain? Rohit asks his teammates

Considering that, it was not entirely a surprise that India skipper Rohit Sharma inquired about the practice pitches from his players as he walked into the nets.

“Pitch kaisa hain (how is the pitch)?” he asked his lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah who seemed to be pleased with the surfaces provided for training.

Kohli and Jadeja have intense batting session

After warming up in the field of play, Kohli was the first one to hit the nets alongside Jadeja. The former captain preferred throwdowns for at least 30 minutes before facing Kuldeep and Hardik Pandya.

Kohli was seen going for the lofted drives down the ground and over extra cover before practising the pull against Bumrah. The premier India pacer got one to rise sharply from back of length and Kohli did well to hook that in the fine-leg region. They both exchanged wry smiles after that moment.

Kohli took a brief break before taking gentle throwdowns from Yuzvendra Chahal and coach Rahul Dravid.

Batting in the adjacent net, Jadeja went for the slog sweep and inside out drive over extra cover against the leg-spin from a net bowler.

Rishabh Pant, India’s standout batter thus far, faced Bumrah, Hardik, Kuldeep and Axar Patel in the nets. Hardik later returned to the field of play to practice range hitting.

Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal formed the next lot to bat in the nets.

With the breeze blowing across the facility, Siraj and Arshdeep Singh got the ball to swing profusely.

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