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Bad practice wickets upset India

cricket Updated: Aug 14, 2010 23:41 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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Ever since losing the tri-series opener against New Zealand, the biggest group of Indian cricketers practised at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

While six players had a light workout on Thursday after Tuesday's demoralising loss, nine players attended Friday's practice session.

Saturday saw 10 players, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and senior pro Yuvraj Singh, starting the team's preparations ahead of their all-important tie against hosts Sri Lanka.

However, the first serious preparatory session was marred by the indifferent practice wickets.

The ball seemed to be rising even from a good length and it disturbed the batsmen.

Minutes after Dinesh Karthik was hit on his right thumb, which swelled up immediately, Dhoni — batting in the adjacent nets - walked out of the nets and preferred fielding practice.

The Indian skipper, and coach Gary Kirsten, were upset with the nature of the wicket. "He thought all three practice wickets were wet, had loads of grass on and the ball was kicking off badly," a team source said.

"With the team already suffering numerous injuries, the last thing we want is another one thanks to bad practice wickets."

Soon after all the Indian cricketers — Dhoni, Yuvraj, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Karthik, R Ashwin, Abhimanyu Mithun, Pragyan Ojha, Virat Kohli and Saurabh Tiwary - reached the main ground for fielding drills, the local organisers summoned Sri Lanka Cricket's national curator Anuruddha Polonowita to the stadium.

And the veteran curator, already facing the heat after preparing a flat track for the second Test at Sinhalese Sports Club, was furious with the attitude of the Indian team.

"Honestly, there is hardly anything to complain about," Polonowita said after shaving off the tracks and using heavy rollers on them.

"In the first match, it was an ideal track, but they couldn't bat. Then they blamed the wicket, now again they are doing the same."