CHENNAI: As captain Virat Kohli was completing his post-match press-conference duties, Hardik Pandya was out in the centre to train with the pink ball, with which the next Test in Ahmedabad will be played.
Pandya had earlier had a half hour session at the practice grounds during lunch. In that session, Pandya was finding it difficult to deal with the ball coming in. He even got out once off a practice bowler and kicked the plastic stumps in frustration. Batting coach Vikram Rathour had a long conversation with him. It seemed Rathour was trying to explain to Pandya how to play closer to the body, something which he has to work on in the coming days.
Once the match was over, Pandya was asked to play spinners on the pitch used for the Test. Pandya hit quite a few into the stands when spinners Rahul Chahar and K Gowtham bowled, but he got out stumped a few times.
Pandya, though, didn’t bowl at all and it will be interesting to see if the all-rounder starts rolling his arm over in the next six days. “If he bowls a few overs, he can be a fine option for the No. 7 slot, especially in a pink-ball Test,” a source said.
While Pandya batted the way he knows, Cheteshwar Pujara, who had a relatively quiet match, also had an hour’s session on one of the centre strips against the pink ball. The last time India played a pink-ball Test, they were shot out for 36 in Adelaide. “Pink-ball cricket is going to be a challenge and we expect no easy cricket from England,” Kohli said.
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Meanwhile, James Anderson, who was rested for the second Test, went flat out on an adjacent pitch with the pink ball. It was a long spell on a hot day and the lengths that he hit were scarily good.
“The pink ball Test will be different,” England captain Joe Root said, giving the impression they are looking to bounce back.