Another pace test awaits India at Nagpur as Kohli says team asked for seaming track in preparation for Proteas tour.
Nagpur: A green tinge across the wicket when the second Test between India and Sri Lanka starts on Friday indicates a fast-paced challenge, with India captain Virat Kohli looking ahead to overseas tours. Bowling tracks in India traditionally help spinners but in the opening drawn Test in Kolkata fast bowlers took centre-stage.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar led an inspired Indian pace attack that took all of the 17 Sri Lankan wickets that fell during the game.
The pitches in Nagpur and Delhi are also expected to help seamers as the world’s top Test team prepare to tour South Africa in January.
India captain Virat Kohli admitted that the team management had “no choice” but to request for hard bouncy tracks for the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka with little time left to prepare for the South Africa series.
The skipper once again spoke in a roundabout manner on the cramped schedule, which hampers preparation.
“Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario but we have to sort of make do with what we have.”
The Indian team will finish their limited overs engagement against the islanders on December 24 (final T20) before they fly off to South Africa on December 27.
Kohli stressed on the necessity to space out series as at times the team needs to do its preparation differently for a bigger series.
India prepared a spinner’s paradise at Nagpur’s Jamtha ground when the hosts packed off South Africa inside three days in 2015. The pitch was rated “poor” by the International Cricket Council governing body because the ball turned dangerously at times.
However reports say the grass on the Nagpur wicket pitch is expected to remain for the five-day game against Sri Lanka.
For India, the challenge will be to produce an improved performance in trying conditions even though it is expected that the challenge to score runs on this track will be a wee bit less than what it was at the Eden Gardens under overcast conditions.
Kohli has shown how to take a bull by its horn with the magnificent ton in a pressure situation and his men will be itching to do the same against Suranga Lakmal and company.
India’s most technically equipped opener Murali Vijay will be making a comeback into the playing XI as Shikhar Dhawan has taken a break for personal reasons.