The Indian team had two new faces in the training session ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka set to begin on March 4 in Mohali. Sairaj Bahutule, former Indian spinner, and Apurva Desai, former first-class cricketer for Gujarat, were seen assisting the Indian team.
There were talks about Bahutule joining the team as the spin bowling coach as he was working with Kuldeep Yadav for the most part. However, a BCCI official has put the rumour to rest, stating that they are working on a temporary basis.
“Sai has been in Mohali with the Test specialists who had gone there more than a week ago. He has been assisting them in their training while Rahul and others were with the white ball squad. They will be with the side for a couple of more days before going back to the NCA,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the first Test will see spectators come to witness Virat Kohli play in his 100th Test match. The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) decided to reverse its stance on the matter after a discussion with the BCCI.
“The first Test between India and Sri Lanka to be played at the Punjab Cricket Stadium in Mohali will not be held behind closed doors. The decision to allow spectators into the ground is one taken by the State Cricketing Associations and in the present circumstances, is based on various factors.”
“I have spoken with the PCA office bearers and they have confirmed that cricket fans will be able to witness the historic moment of Virat Kohli playing his 100th Test match,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.
Indian Test Squad for Sri Lanka series:
Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, KS Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin (subject to fitness), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Saurabh Kumar.