India vs Bangladesh: It’s not ideal but no one will die: Bangladesh coach on Delhi pollution
Bangladesh players Al Amin, Abu Hider Rony and team’s spin consultant Daniel Vettori were seen wearing masks during their fielding session this morning.Updated: Nov 01, 2019 23:22 IST
A day after Bangladesh batsman Liton Das downplayed the threat of pollution, his teammates and the coaching staff took the field for practice on Friday at Ferozeshah Kotla with masks to combat it. Bangladesh plays India in the first T20 International of their tour on Sunday night, but the team’s two practice sessions have so far been dominated by talks of the hazardous levels of pollution. It wasn’t a surprise then that one-third of the questions posed to Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo post practice were related to toxic air.
Domingo did his best to avoid turning it into a controversy for a team that already having to deal with the fallout of Shakib Al Hasan’s two-year ban for failing to report repeated approaches by a suspected bookie.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s nothing to mourn about and we got to get on with it and do the best,” Domingo said. “It’s not ideal, but there is nothing we can do about it. It is what it is. We got to make sure that we are prepared as well as possible and deal with it as well as possible.”
Domingo revealed that his players, in fact, have been affected by the air quality, described by Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as breathing inside “a gas chamber”.
“For sure, we have had some scratchy eyes, maybe some sore throats also,” Domingo said. “Nobody’s been sick or dying but we’ve been okay with it. Obviously, you don’t want to be in it for six or seven hours, so a three-hour game that we are playing and three-hour practice sessions is probably as long as you probably want to be in it at the moment.” Domingo added that his team’s players have been used to some pollution back home so it hasn’t come as a surprise. He added that his team hasn’t received any advisory regarding it.
“We haven’t (got an advisory). We know Sri Lanka struggled with it the last time. I suppose there is a bit of a pollution in Bangladesh so it is not like a massive shock to the system as maybe some other countries’ players might be experiencing. The boys dealt with it well,” he said.
Unlike Bangladesh, the Indian team did not take any precautions. The Indian team was out in full strength at the practice session.
“I understand that (pollution is an issue),” said batting coach Vikram Rathour. “We are here to play the game, we can’t really help it. We will play. I think that is the best part of playing a sport—once you are into the game then I don’t think you even notice it. It is only when you are sitting outside that you notice.”
Sharma hit at nets
Rohit Sharma, who is captaining India for the T20s in the absence of Virat Kohli, was hit on the left side of his abdomen during throwdowns. He was forced to leave the nets immediately for medical attention. However the team later confirmed that there was no significant injury and that he was fit to play the match.
Besides pollution, the big talk in the match has been the absence of two key players from either side—Shakib and Kohli (who is being rested for the T20s). Bangladesh are also missing Tamim Iqbal, who has stayed back home for the birth of his second child.
Domingo said that Shakib “has made a mistake and is paying a price for it”.
“They are obviously two big players to replace (Tamim and Shakib),” he said. “We know that. But with that comes the opportunity for youngsters to do well and become senior players. Anybody will miss Shakib.
“It is very tricky (to find his replacement),” Domingo added. “He bats at No. 3, he bowls, sometimes he opens, he always bowls four overs and then you have to decide—do I replace the batsman or do I replace the bowler? It’s not easy to replace him because not many players provide you with both. You might find yourself short in one department and strong in the other department.”