Mumbai: Oct 28, 2012
Coach Lalchand Rajput sought to dismiss reports that a green-top was on offer for his India A team's three-day match against the touring England cricketers at the Cricket Club of India from October 30 and said it will be a typical Mumbai wicket.
"It's a good wicket. At CCI, always the first session helps the bowlers. It's one of those wickets which will have some carry in the first session. It's a typical Mumbai wicket, there will be a little bit of bounce," said Rajput after 12 out of his 14-member team had their first practice session at the Brabourne Stadium in the afternoon.
England are to play three warm-up games, the second one at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai from November 3-5 and the third a four-day game at Ahmedabad prior to the start of the four-Test series from November 13 in the Gujarat city.
According to the CCI curator Prakash Dalvi, the track for the tourists' opening game has been under preparation for the last 10 days and 5mm grass has been kept, but even as he was talking, the ground staff was seen scrubbing the pitch.
While conceding that the absence of a frontline spinner in the team, which has been the subject of intense speculation whether it was a deliberate ploy or not, will pose some problems for other bowlers to complete the 90-over quota in a day, Rajput said the part-time slow bowlers in the team would have to chip in.
"We have got part-time spinners like Yuvraj, Raina and Tiwary to complete the 90-over quota in a day. I know over-rate will be a bit of a problem as they have to bowl 15 overs an hour.
He also saw the absence of regular spinners as another opportunity for the medium pacers in the team to have long spells, including with the old ball.
"I don't know what the selectors have in mind. I would look at it from the point of view of the medium pacers. It's a good opportunity for them. Normally, if you have two spinners, medium pacers don't take much part in the game because after the new ball, they are dead because of the turning wickets."
"It's a good opportunity to see how they bowl with the new ball, now they bowl with the old ball and how they bowl after say 50-60 overs and whether they can make use of the reverse swing as well," the former India opener and coach said.
Rajput was not clear whether the game will be a proper first-class game with none outside the eleven batting or bowling and said a call is expected to be taken tomorrow, on the eve of the match.
"We would like to look at it as a (competitive) match. But nowadays, ICC (International Cricket Council) has come out with (the concession) that 12 can bat. I don't know what MoU has been signed with the English board. We will take a call on it tomorrow," he said.
According to Board sources, it was up to the two team managements to come to an agreement on this issue. (PTI)