The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has added four more spinners to the Indian squad for the first Test against Australia. According to source-based reports, Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar, R Sai Kishore and white-ball regular Washington Sundar, have joined the squad, as net bowlers.
The move comes in order to prepare the Indian batters for the highly anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is set to kick start from February 9, 2023, in Nagpur. Notably, the Indian squad had already four spinners – Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin – while there is no addition of pacers for the practice session.
According to a Cricbuzz report, the team management is believed to be employing some local bowlers in the nets. Rohit Sharma & Co. assembled in Nagpur on Thursday (Feb. 3) and had an extended net session on Friday morning.
The team is without Shreyas Iyer, who is still at NCA, Bengaluru and is still undergoing the rehabilitation process. The team will have practice sessions at two venues in the city, the old and new Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) grounds, initially at the old venue. The net session on Friday was at the old ground which is in the heart of the city.
R Ashwin hits back at Smith
Days after former Australian skipper Steven Smith termed practice games ahead of the high-stake contest in the sub-continent ‘irrelevant’ veteran Indian spinner R Ashwin has claimed that Australians are known for ‘sledging’ and ‘playing mind games.’
“We might have given them a green track, but nobody plans all these things. However, Australia is known for its mind games and sledges before a series. They love doing that. It's their style of cricket," Ashwin added.
Meanwhile, Australia has roped in R Ashwin’s duplicate to help them train more effectively. Maheesh Pithiya, whose bowling action is quite similar to Ashwin’s is bowling the Australian team ahead of the first Test match of the series.