India’s fielding coach R Sridhar said the washout between India and New Zealand was frustrating but that the Trent Bridge outfield was like a slippery “skating rink” where there was a risk of players getting injured.
“Oh, there’s a big technical committee from the ICC on that. It depends on the format, the time available. We don’t have any days off in this tournament. Every day there is a game. So there is hardly an opportunity to have a reserve day. I don’t know the technical aspect of it. The ICC will decide that. It’s not for me to take that call,” the India fielding coach said.
As much as India would have loved a tough game before the clash against Pakistan on Sunday, Sridhar does not want to harp too much on the “uncontrollable”.
“It’s uncontrollable, isn’t it? You really can’t control the weather, so we have had two good games. We came here looking forward to third good one, but unfortunately, we can’t control the weather,” he said.
“I went on the ground. It was almost like a skating rink. So it would put too much risk on the players to play on there, especially at the early phase of the tournament.”
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said the washout was “unfortunate and frustrating” but agreed with ICC’s assertion that reserve days will be a “logistical nightmare”.
“Yeah, it would have been lovely to play India. It’s always tough mentally, I think on a day like this, when you come down prepared to play, and it doesn’t happen. But it’s out of our control. We can’t really do much about it, so we’ve got to move on quickly for South Africa,” Stead said after the match was called off without a ball being bowled.
However, Stead agreed with ICC CEO Dave Richardson’s opinion that reserve days are not an option despite inclement weather and unlikely downpour in the month of June.
“Reserve days, I think, is going to be a logistical nightmare. The ICC, I think, have made that fairly well-known. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of an anomaly already. When you look at the amount of days we’ve lost already, I think it’s the biggest sort of amount of days lost in a World Cup ever,” he said.
“So, we can’t do much about that. We just have to, I guess, push on with what the schedule is,” said Stead.
Catching in the slip region could emerge as a serious challenge for Shikhar Dhawan after recovering from his hand injury, suspects Sridhar.
‘Slip catching will be challenge for Dhawan’
Since Dhawan is a natural right-hander, batting should not be a major concern post his recovery from the thumb injury but it remains to be assessed if he could stand in slip region, where the ball travels on high speed.
“Throwing won’t be a problem, but definitely there will be impact while fielding and catching, especially (since) he’s a slip fielder. If you know, he stands in the slips in the initial phase of the innings, that can be an issue. We’ll test him out with lighter balls first and gradually move on to the cricket ball and see how it goes from there, but, yeah, that will be a challenge,” Sridhar said.
“Once we assess him, probably on 10th or 12th day, we’ll have to look – it’s his bottom hand (left) while batting. It’s not his dominant hand because he’s a (natural) right-hander,” added Sridhar.
‘Hand-warmers the first option’
Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa attracted unwarranted attention for using hand warmers during the World Cup game against India but even the ‘Men In Blue’ use the same equipment to beat the biting cold.
When Zampa was seen using hand warmers, the social media, especially the Indian fans, went on an overdrive, accusing the Australian of indulging in ball tampering.
Asked how a fielding unit prepares for cold conditions, Sridhar replied, I think hand-warmers is obviously the first option to keep your hands warm.”
There are other options like “running from one fielding position to another or throwing the ball around” said Sridhar.
“That also keeps you warm between overs and doesn’t allow your body to cool down. Also, we practice in the same weather, so that also gives us a heads up.”