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T20 World Cup | Nets and injuries at Nassau Stadium

The 'nets’ have become more and more crucial in the context of the World Cup because there is every chance someone could get injured. But then again, that’s exactly what is in store for them at the Nassau County International Stadium in the days to come.
Last Updated : 08 June 2024, 02:48 IST
Last Updated : 08 June 2024, 02:48 IST

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New York: For a second or two, Rohit Sharma stared at the surface at the Cantiague Park on Friday before allowing himself to grimace.

In plain view of over thirty journalists at the practice facility, he was not sure if he wanted to take off his gloves or not, but he eventually did. He studied his left hand for a moment or two before sliding the gloves back on.

That didn’t stop the team medic from rushing to him and the sidearm specialists assessing the protective material in his gloves.

Rohit was in the nets with three sidearm experts. He was struck by the one looking to recreate a left-arm seamer, but it was the unnatural bounce which did him in. The ball rose too abruptly for him to counter so he left his hands hanging and the ball slammed his gloves.

The Indian skipper brushed off the incident and continued to bat after a lengthy conversation and a couple of fist bumps. The next ball rolled past his ankle from the same spot.

It was not easy to work on the three drop-in pitches.

Virat Kohli was particularly displeased with the bounce, staring at the surface more often than not. He was constantly in chat with the sidearm specialists, asking them to send down specific deliveries. Kohli was taken by surprise a couple of times when the ball rose from a length, but he managed to get out of the way in time.

Meanwhile, on either side of Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav were getting their groove on. Save for a couple of instances, neither batter looked in trouble, and their ability to adjust at the last moment came in handy.

Kohli, evidently restricted by his staunch technique, couldn’t quite adjust. He showed every bit of his class when he got his eye in, but when the lengths were dragged down, he was at sea. Those problems became only more pronounced when he went up against Jasprit Bumrah. Even Hardik Pandya and Yashavi Jaiswal were sitting ducks against the paceman.

It’s an interesting predicament for India because while they want to train against the best, and they have some of the best in the line-up, they also would want to save the heads and fingers of the batters.

Take South Africa for example, they restricted batters to throw downs, they didn’t even bring on the sidearms, and spinners. Meanwhile, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen bowled full-tilt at an empty ‘nets’ while the coach watched on and told them of the lengths to operate on.

To each his own, perhaps, but these ‘nets’ have become more and more crucial in the context of the World Cup because there is every chance someone could get injured. But then again, that’s exactly what is in store for them at the Nassau County International Stadium in the days to come.

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Published 08 June 2024, 02:48 IST

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