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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Jul 2014

Cricket

Quick bowlers go through the 'paces' at nets
Sanjjeev K Samyal , Hindustan Times
London, July 16, 2014
First Published: 01:20 IST(16/7/2014)
Last Updated: 01:24 IST(16/7/2014)

Playing five Test matches in less than 45 days will be a gruelling task for the pace bowlers. Apart from the risk of breakdowns, the challenge for the team members will be to deal with fatigue and find a way to ensure the bowlers are fresh for the challenge every day.

The England players are comparatively seasoned, having been regularly involved in the equally long Ashes. Hence, the focus will be on the Indian bowlers' endurance and ability.

Their first practice session at Lord's gave an insight. Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were both sparingly used in the nets, the duo focusing more on their batting. Mohammed Shami, however, chose to go full throttle from the start and had a long spell.

Overall, the focus of the training session was on pace. The difference between playing at Trent Bridge and Lord's is that the challenge here will be playing the new ball.

All three nets had batsmen sharpening their skills against the expected pace barrage in the second game. The wicket is expected to be much quicker than Trent Bridge and Kohli & Co will be tested by more sideways movement.

The change in conditions has nipped the thought of playing an extra spinner and India are likely to field an unchanged eleven. Captain MS Dhoni believes, in helpful conditions Stuart Binny's swing bowling will be a handy backup. The Karnataka pacer was getting the swing, but was only military medium.

There is a case for playing R Ashwin in place of Ravindra Jadeja as the off-spinner will be more effective against England's stream of left-handers.

However, the cues from the nets were not good for Ashwin. Along with Rohit Sharma, the Tamil Nadu cricketer was a fringe player in the training session.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay were among the first to pad up. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara made up the second lot, followed by MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny.

The spinners played second fiddle. At the start, Jadeja and Sharma were part of a pace-heavy bowling unit before Ashwin joined in.

For England, there is a case for a change with Ben Stokes making way for Chris Jordon.


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