Team India’s four-day practice match against the English County side Essex side was reduced to three days. It was mainly due to the high drama over the pitch condition of both the playing arena and the outfield hat prompted the Indian management to take the decision.
Both the pitch and the outfield conditions subsequently left the visiting team pretty unhappy. Their preparations couldn’t happen in the way they would have liked.
The decision was taken by the team management after a net practice session. They had a look at the pitch. No official word has been taken on why the match was reduced to three days.
India’s head coach Ravi Shastri was seen having an animated discussion with the local officials. The pitch was too grassy while the outfield was barren. The outfield, in particular, wasn’t of the international standard under any stress of imagination.
The Indian support staff had a look at the pitch:
The bowling coach Bharath Arun and assistant coach Sanjay Bangar was also seen have a discussion with the ground staffs and the curator of the pitch before facing Essex.
It has been confirmed India will field all their 18 players in the match. It is not a first-class match. Hence, India has the authority to use all their players there in the squad.
A senior ground official said that all the request of the Indian team has been accepted. He was quoted as saying by the PTI on the condition of an anonymity.
When asked if that included shaving of the grass, he said that they have done everything to accommodate the Indian team management demand.
“We have bent over backwards to accommodate the Indian team management’s demands. It is disappointing though because we had sold a lot of tickets for the fourth day (Saturday),” he added.
Meanwhile, another reason for Team India’s displeasure was the two net pitches were totally bald compared to the pitch used during the matches.
The ground staff shaved of the grass after consulting the visiting coaches. It was done to make the pitch resemble the match wicket with an equal amount of grass on its surface. Team India will face Essex on Wednesday in a practice match.
It helped the team to get a hang of the conditions a lot better. All the top class batters were seen taking throwdowns at the wicket. Even the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav bowled on the greenish track.