India look to get into Test groove
After being busy in one-dayers and Twenty20s for almost three months, India will look to quickly get into the groove for the longer version of cricket as they take on the Sri Lankan Board XI in a three-day warm-up match here from Saturday.
India, who last played a Test against South Africa at home in April, took advantage of a sunny day here and got some rigorous practice to shift into the five-day mode ahead of the first match, beginning on June 23. The match will be India’s only warm-up game before the three-Test series against the hosts beginning July 23.
Virender Sehwag, who will in all probability, open with Gautam Gambhir at the Nondescripts Cricket Club kept reporters on the alert by his shots despite being separated by the nets and fencing.
Harbhajan Singh, who returned to the national team after serving a five-ODI ban for slapping Sreesanth during an Indian Premier League match, was the cynosure of all eyes during the net session. Pace spearheads Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma also underwent strenuous workouts.
The Lankan Board team, however, took it easy on a Buddhist function day and Jehan Mubarak will lead the side in the three-day fixture. The squad includes four players who are likely to figure in the first Test. They are Dilhara Fernando, Chanaka Welagedera, Chamara Silva and Upul Tharanga.
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- Jadeja, who did not feature in the first Test against Australia because of an injury, came back into the side for the second Test in Melbourne and immediately left his mark in all three departments of the game.
- The India fielding coach said Kohli had messaged him around 12:30 after India suffered a humiliating loss in Adelaide to discuss the plans for the next Test in Melbourne.
- It wasn’t just the Indian fans celebrating but everyone in and around the world lauded the spirit shown by the Indian cricket team in Australia.