Because to the tight schedule making it difficult to prepare for Australia at the Oval, India intends to arm its Test bowlers with the Dukes ball during the IPL so they may train with it before the World Test Championship.
Although though the game would begin just a week after the IPL final is anticipated to occur, the final will take place from June 7 through 11 (with June 12 serving as a reserve day). Test captain Rohit Sharma believed that his pace attack would have time to warm up.
He said, “We’re also sending some fresh Dukes balls to all the fast bowlers to give them some practice with that. “That won’t be a big deal because all of us have played in that region of the world. Yes, I do believe in preparation, and this time around, it will be crucial for us when it comes to the finals.”
When New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by two wickets in the first Test in Christchurch on the last ball, India was officially announced as Australia’s opponent while the players ate lunch in Ahmedabad.
We definitely [followed it] today, I’m just being honest,” India coach Rahul Dravid said to Star Sports. “Most importantly, it was becoming extremely congested and close outside. Being able to follow that in bits and pieces was incredibly exciting. It was lunchtime for us when we sort of watched the final four or five overs.”
Both teams will have to navigate the challenges of the calendar, which will see the IPL take up most of the two months of April and May. For India, however, the challenge is amplified because only Cheteshwar Pujara, who is likely to be in their starting lineup, will not be playing in the competition. The Dukes ball, which is used for Tests in England and was adopted by the ICC for the inaugural final in 2021, has distinct challenges for bowlers than the SG or Kookaburra.
A strict check would be kept on bowlers’ workloads throughout the IPL, according to Rohit, who also expressed the hope that any Test players on the sides who don’t advance to the finals would be able to leave early for England.
I believe it’s quite important for us, he remarked. “To keep an eye on their workload, we’ll stay in touch with all the IPL players who will compete in that final.
“There will likely be six teams eliminated from the IPL by May 21. Hence, we will try to find time for whichever players are available to see if they can come to the UK as soon as possible and get some time there.”
Australia revealed recently that they had taken this WTC cycle more seriously after missing out on the 2021 final, where New Zealand defeated India, due to excessive penalties. They earned their spot with strong home performances, similar to India, and crucial victories abroad in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and on this tour.
The boys are incredibly pumped and excited about it, according to Steven Smith. “When India returned to the field shortly after New Zealand had won, we observed them shaking hands and doing other things. So facing India in the championship game will be fantastic.” It could be interesting to see what kind of wicket we get because the Oval wicket there can occasionally handle some spin, especially as the game progresses. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic location for cricket, the English wicket typically has a good bounce and pace, and in terms of potential pace and bounce, it’s about as close to Australia as you can get, so it will be a tremendous Test match.”
It would be surprising if the spinners had much to choose from with the final occurring in the first half of June, which is still very early in the UK season. Rohit acknowledged that the circumstances would require some adjusting, but he was confident that they wouldn’t be too uncharted. Due to weather in Southampton, the first final in 2021 had to be completed on the reserve day.
Both sides have played a lot of cricket in that region of the world, but it is a neutral ground for both teams, he said. “I wouldn’t argue that either team would experience foreign circumstances. It won’t be like that, though, compared to what it is for India to play in India or for Australia to play in Australia. It will be a little bit different from that, but I’m confident that both sides will be ready for it.”
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