Kohli, Rohit skip optional practice ahead of decider

Fast bowler Bumrah, all-rounder Pandya were not seen at the nets too; local boy Kuldeep rolled an arm with Chahal.

It remains to be seen whether Kohli goes with the same playing XI that played on Wednesday or bring in Yadav in front of his home crowd.   -  K.BHAGYA PRAKASH

 

Captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya were among the five Indian team members who skipped the optional practice session ahead of the series decider against New Zealand here on Sunday.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who played in Pune in place of Kuldeep Yadav, too, did not take part in the afternoon session.

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It remains to be seen whether Kohli goes with the same playing XI that played on Wednesday or bring in Yadav in front of his home crowd. The chinaman had a lengthy spell in the nets and so did leggie Yuzvendra Chahal.

Among the batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan went through a long session as he batted in the nets before practising the pull shots off fast full-tosses on the outfield.

India had its nets at the centre square, while New Zealand had them placed on the boundary wickets.

Compared to the hosts, the visiting side underwent a much longer session in the morning that went beyond three hours.

Also read: After Pune fiasco, foolproof security for Green Park pitch

Both teams hit the nets for the first time since arriving on Thursday.

After the practice, New Zealand pacer Tim Southee said the mood in the team was upbeat ahead of the pressure game.

“There was an air of excitement around the guys today at training. Obviously we felt freshened up after the day off yesterday. The series is on the line tomorrow. That’s what we play for and like I said, good sides have come here and walked away empty handed.

“It’ll be nice to seal the series here. But India is a tough team in its own conditions as it has shown that over a while,” said the senior Kiwi pacer.