CHENNAI: Ahead of their maiden day-night Test in Kolkata, India are expected to stretch their afternoon practice session till evening at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Tuesday. The idea is to have the experience of playing under lights, especially during the twilight.
The Indore Test starts on November 14 while the second match at the Eden Gardens begins on November 22. This means the teams have only a couple of days to practise with pink balls.
“Bangladesh will practise in the morning while India will hit the nets in the afternoon on Tuesday. The Indians have also booked an evening slot which means they might practise under lights also. We expect them to use one of the pitches adjacent to the reserved square for the evening session,” an Madhya Pradhesh Cricket Association (MPCA) official told this newspaper. He, however, clarified that no such request has been made by the Bangladesh team management yet.
A source privy to the development also confirmed that the India team will train in the afternoon and stay back till the evening. “It will not be a full-fledged practice session in the evening. The players wanted to have a feel of playing under lights especially in the twilight,” said the source.
Five India cricketers — Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja — had a practice session with Sanspariel Greenlands (SG) pink balls under the eyes of Rahul Dravid at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
During the two-hour training session under lights in Bengaluru, the head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) had words with Test team vice-captain Rahane and Pujara after their batting stints where they faced net bowlers from the Karnataka under-23 team. All the players except Shami batted against pacers and spinners. The pacer was impressive during the practice session, bowling at good pace and generating bounce.
Bangladesh players along with a few members of the Indian Test side reached Indore on a special plane on Monday afternoon. The other Test specialists were expected to reach the city in batches.