Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja go full throttle at practice

Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli
Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli (PC: Debasis Sen)

Ishaan Shahane and Debasis Sen in Barbados

India will face Afghanistan on June 20 in the ICC T20 World Cup and the Indian fans are hoping that the Men In Blue will maintain the winning momentum. The first practice session before the Super 8 fixture took place at the Kensington Oval, with all players participating. There were many talking points from the practice, with a key focus on Virat Kohli. Kohli was seen batting for an hour-long session, showing strong intent and determination to perform. Although he hasn’t had the best start to the World Cup, Kohli is hopeful to turn things around against Afghanistan. He also took plenty of throwdowns from specialist Nuwan Seneviratne to gear up for the match.

It was fascinating to witness Ravindra Jadeja pad up and start the nets session with sheer focus. Given more batting time, it’s clear that the Indian team is backing the all-rounder’s abilities and hoping he can deliver with the bat, if needed, against Afghanistan. Jadeja, who had a below-par start to the World Cup, will be eager to contribute significantly to his team’s winning chances in the upcoming fixtures. The focus on Jadeja’s batting during practice proves the team’s strategy to leverage his all-round capabilities. With the World Cup entering a crucial phase, Jadeja’s form could be important.

With the third leg of the tournament moving to the Caribbean, spinners are likely to be preferred, putting Kuldeep Yadav in strong contention for selection. Yadav was seen bowling at nets for an extended session, showing his readiness. Yuzvendra Chahal was also spotted rolling his arm, though only for a brief period. Both Yadav and Chahal, having missed out on the initial games and will be eager to make their mark in the upcoming matches.

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Team India hurdle at practice
Team India hurdle at practice (PC: Debasis Sen)

What was most heartwarming to witness was the camaraderie between captain Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. Despite the tremendous backlash Pandya faced as captain of Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024, at practice on Monday, both seemed in high spirits. Their jovial interaction suggested they were united by a bigger purpose. For India’s chances to go on and win, the team must come together as one. The bond between Rohit Sharma and Pandya exemplifies the unity and collective spirit needed to achieve success in the World Cup.

Even though Rohit was present at the nets session, he did not end bat. Instead, he was seen having a long discussion with coach Rahul Dravid, presumably about the pitch and how it might play against Afghanistan on June 20. With the first practice session done and dusted, and two more to go, the Indian team will be looking to make the most out of their preparations before the big Super 8 fixture.

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