T20 World Cup: India train in ‘Big Apple’ — Getting used to cooler temperatures, playing white-ball games in morning

PTI, May 29, 2024, 4:36 PM IST

Image credit: X / @BCCI / video screengrab

New York: After two months of intense competitive cricket under night lights, the Indian cricket team, sans Virat Kohli, began its preparations for the T20 World Cup with a morning training session here, keeping in mind the 10.30am starts for all its preliminary games.

Kohli took a break for personal work after his RCB’s IPL ouster and in all likelihood, he will join the squad by Friday.

But it is not clear if he would be able to take part in the only warm-up game against Bangladesh on Saturday after a long flight.

Having played 90 per cent of the matches under lights in the scorching Indian summer, the idea would be to adjust to pleasant mornings where temperatures will hover between 25 to 27 degree celsius with very less humidity.

A white kookaburra in slightly windy mornings could be a challenge and to be prepared for that, the severely jet-lagged bodies need to get used to morning conditions.

And this is why the support staff, before initiating the skills training (net sessions) on the practice pitches at Nassau County ground on the outskirts of the city, have decided to help the player acclimatise with the conditions.

With 14 players checking in, there was light jogging, routine shuttle runs, and a bit of foot volley to get into the groove.

“They have been away two and half months from us and getting to know where they stand and what needs to be done before the World Cup is the goal. The (first) goal is to spend 45 minutes in the heat to get going,” Strength and Conditioning coach Soham Desai told bcci.tv.

“We came in the day before yesterday and we just eased into our routines here, the players are just getting used to the time zone. Today we are having our first ground session,” he added.

As far as the players are concerned, there is an element of curiosity about playing cricket in New York.

The Indian teams, over the years, have played primarily in Florida at the Fort Lauderhill ground during their tours of the West Indies.

“First time we are going to play cricket in New York, it’s going be fun,” all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said.

“We have not yet played cricket, came here for a team activity today. Hopefully, it will be good. The weather is really good, so we are looking forward to it.”

Skipper Rohit Sharma’s deputy Hardik Pandya seemed excited with the “bright sunshine” and “good vibes” while Suryakumar Yadav wanted to know more about the the diaspora’s cricket interests.

“I heard cricket is growing here in the US. So we are really excited and the first day here was amazing, so very excited for the few days coming up,” Surya stated.

India, the 2007 T20 World Cup champions, will start their campaign here on June 5 against Ireland, followed by the big game against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 9.

They take on hosts USA on June 12 before the cricket caravan moves to familiar Lauderhill in Florida for the game against Canada on June 15.

India are supposed to be clubbed A1 irrespective of where they finish in the group and will then proceed to the Caribbean islands for the Super 8 phase of the tournament where they would meet Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

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