India's squad for SA tour 2018
Senior and junior Indian team to travel together ahead of their respective tours.

Indian cricket team has been allowed to practice on the centre wicket for the first time in South Africa, as per a report in TOI. Team India made a request to the board to be allowed to practice on the centre wickets instead of nets, a request which was fulfilled.

“When MS Dhoni was the captain, he would keep on making this request and BCCI would carry it forward. But every time, the request would be denied. In fact, India had made the same request to Cricket South Africa in 2013-14 too but they had denied it. This time they have agreed,” sources told TOI.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The practice sessions ahead of the series is the only way for the team India to assimilate to the conditions in South Africa as the board had already cancelled the practice game against South Africa President’s XI. The game was to be played from December 30 to 31, but the team management felt that it was good for the team to participate in practice sessions rather than playing the game.

One of the major reasons for the cancellation of the game was that the players had reached the country only yesterday (December 29) and it would have been unfair on them to ask them to play a game just the next day, without taking part in any complete practice session.

Instead, the board decided to practice on hired grounds with fast a pitch laid down in it. Four extra pacers viz Basil Thampi, Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj and Ankit Rajpoot are already accompanying the team. They will bowl to the Indian batsmen in net sessions.

(Read Here: South Africa squad for first India Test)

Harsha Bhogle Indian Cricket Team T20 XI 2017

They will not just bowl to Indian batsmen but will also share the workload with the Indian Pacers. Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma are the five pacers in the squad. They will also bowl during practice sessions, but the four extra bowlers are expected to carry the most workload, the main reason behind these bowlers travelling to South Africa with the team.

In other news, it has been confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the first Test of the series. Murali Vijay and KL Rahul will be opening the innings in the first Test of the series.

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