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Does the Indian cricket team management prefer net sessions over practice games?

  • The Indian cricket team management believes nets are more important than practice games, but players feel differently.
  • Virat Kohli will take the final call on whether to play practice games or not; will he pay heed to the players' wishes?
EXPERT COLUMNIST
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Modified 15 May 2020, 00:26 IST

Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team
Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team

Is the Indian cricket team management laying more emphasis on net sessions than playing practice games? A day after Sportskeeda reported how Virat Kohli and his men have done away with preparatory camps due to the packed international schedule, it has emerged that playing practice games before tours might also be going out of fashion.

A source in the Indian cricket team said that the management has been preferring nets over practice matches for quite some time. And ahead of the Indian cricket team's big tour of Australia later this year, questions abound over whether the team will opt for nets over practice games even on Australian soil.

The verdict from the players, however, is not so encouraging.

Indian cricket team members unhappy with lack of practice matches

Nearly three years ago, the Indian cricket team had opted out of a two-day practice game in South Africa. They decided to have nets instead, and the team eventually lost the series 2-1.

Sources say that many players in the squad weren't happy with the team management's decision to go for nets over games. 

Again, prior to the 2018 Test series against England, a four-day practice match against County side Essex was cut short by the Indian cricket team management due to the pitch condition. Even during the last Test series that India played and lost - in New Zealand - the Indian cricket team played the shorter formats and then headed straight into the Test series, without any warm-up games.

This is quite a departure from the past, when the team wouldn't take the field without a preparatory practice game or two.

"The current Indian cricket team management prefers doing nets and whether they will opt for a preparatory camp or a practice game would be decided after the uncertainty over the series is made clear," a source explained.

Captain Virat Kohli will likely take the final call on this, but reports suggest the players want the Indian cricket team management to consult them before making any arrangements. And the management may well do that, since the happiness of the players is of utmost importance ahead of the all-important tour Down Under.

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"BCCI president Sourav Ganguly too understands that this is perhaps the last chance to salvage some pride if at all the Test series happens in Australia, after losing Test series in South Africa, England and New Zealand," the source added.

Published 15 May 2020, 00:26 IST
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