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Ready for the big chill

India warm up in biting cold conditions ahead of the final Test, reports Anand Vasu.

cricket Updated: Apr 02, 2009 00:51 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times
Ready for the big chill

The Indian team got their first real taste of just how bitingly cold the Wellington wind could be on Wednesday during a morning practice session that was held, for the best part, in overcast conditions. If their spirits were dampened, the Indians did not show it, beginning with a typically boisterous warm-up session with football before moving to the cricket. They did not take any chances, though, and multiple layers of clothing as well as woollen hand gloves and beanies to protect the head and ears from the chill were on display.

“Finally, it feels like we are in New Zealand,” one of the cricketers joked soon after their session. “It is a little bit cold for the Indian guys, but yeah, we have adjusted pretty well,” said coach Gary Kirsten. “As for the wind, we will have to see when we get out there. The wind does affect things, but the guys are looking forward to it. There has been talk about the third Test within our camp. We got a fair amount of rest watching the guys bat, so the bowlers are pretty keen to get out there.”

Even Brendon McCullum felt the effects of the chill. “It’s very cold,” he said. “Very blustery and the sun hasn’t really shone much. If we find it cold here, no doubt the Indians will be freezing. I am sure from their point of view, they will be hoping the wind dies down and the sun comes out; from ours, it will be great to have them on the park when the conditions are like this. I am sure we are going to find the conditions a little bit more pleasurable than they are.”

Chris Martin, who has been the most dangerous of the New Zealand bowlers, was hoping the conditions would give him an edge. “The wind is something we’re used to,” said Martin. “It’s something a lot of touring teams dislike and quite a lot of people playing domestically here find it tough as well, but it’s character-building. We are a little at advantage. I know most sub-continental sides that have come out here find it very difficult to keep their bodies warm. That might want their bowlers to get us out even quicker. But that’s one of the things you have to put up with, just as we put up with the heat in India.”