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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Practice watch: Suryakumar could get the nod ahead of Iyer

Rahul was missing from the Indian team's customary practice session, attended by almost all the players on Tuesday at the Green Park stadium.

By: Express News Service | Kanpur |
Updated: November 24, 2021 8:20:42 am
One of either Suryakumar or Shreyas Iyer is likely to be given a middle order slot. (Source: AP)

Nets sessions are often, though not always, precursors to a team’s strategies. It could throw a hint on who is likely to play and who is not. The first ones to bat are often the likeliest to be in the first eleven as well. The first three to bat for India were Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal, the likeliest top three, as regulars KL Rahul is injured (muscle strain) and Rohit Sharma has opted to rest for the series.

Gill, who missed the England series due to a stress injury on his leg, first faced a left-arm seamer, to get himself accustomed to the angles for Neil Wagner, though the bowler was of much inferior quality to the Kiwi enforcer. Gill, though, was restrained, inclined to leave as many balls as possible and resisting the urge to play on the rise, as it could be a tricky stroke to play on the ground with a history of invariable bounce. Soon, Ishant Sharma replaced him and struck a lovely rhythm and tested his discretion outside the off-stump with a barrage of balls in the corridor, some that jagged into him and some others that held the line.

In a separate enclosure of nets were Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer, Mumbai teammates.

At least one of them would likely make their debut the day after. It was hard to tell who. Iyer was mostly facing spinners, without a cap, his flowing mane girdled by a hair bow.

Yadav was batting with a bat that resembled a large plank of wood with wafer-thin edges. A little later, Yadav joined Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha at the main nets, while Iyer unstrapped his pads, did a bit of catching practice and began bowling his leg-breaks.

Yadav batted deep into the evening, suggesting that he, who was not in the original squad, has a heads-up over Iyer, who was in the original squad for the series. Then again, net sessions are not definitive indicators of a playing eleven.

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