Remember the Indian Premier League games where Viral Kohli and Gautam Gambhir are seen in a heated arguments on the pitch? It has happened twice in IPL. But on Thursday, there was a different to see at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata during India’s practice before the second Test match against New Zealand.
The two players, alongwith Wriddhiman Saha, were seen sharing a laugh and practicing together during the net session on Thursday morning. In a video by BCCI, the three players are standing at the nets and chatting and probably joking as all three are seen laughing.
Gambhir returned to the Indian Test squad after a gap of two years when he replaced KL Rahul for the remaining two Test against New Zealand. He has been is good form at the domestic level but he was ignored by the selectors for the New Zealand series.
Rahul injured his hamstring during the first Test in Kanpur and was later ruled out of the series. This prompted the selectors to pick Gambhir, saying that it was difficult to ignore his performances in the Duleep Trophy where he had scored four consecutive fifties. He averaged more than 70 in the tournament and had two scores of 90-plus.
Kohli and Gambhir faced only a few deliveries in the fag end of the two-hour practice but the Indian captain later clarified that no inference could be drawn from the practice session.
Kohli said sometimes the batting order was followed but it is not necessary that people who have not batted for long during the nets, won’t play.
“Day before the game we definitely look to do that with the batting order. It can differ from player to player. Sometimes a player doesn’t want to bat in the nets. He just wants throwdowns and then walk away.
“You won’t see him entering the nets, that doesn’t mean he won’t play. Day before the Test we look to bat the batting order how would be but at the same time if someone wants to pull out that doesn’t mean he won’t play. It’s just the preparation preference that an individual has before a game,” Kohli said.
The second Test in Kolkata begins on Friday with India leading the three-match series 1-0. India beat New Zealand by 197 runs in Kanpur. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India’s premier spinners, picked up 16 wickets amongst themselves to help India beat the Black Caps. But the Eden Gardens pitch is not supposed to assist the spinners from day one.
Pacers may enjoy a good outing at Eden especially on the first two days as there is cover of green grass on it. Spinners may come into play on the third day.
(With inputs from PTI)