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PHOTOS: Tendulkar inspects VCA stadium pitch

Last updated on: December 11, 2012 20:34 IST

PHOTOS: Tendulkar inspects VCA stadium pitch

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The Indian and English teams got cracking at the VCA stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, ahead of the fourth Test that begins on Thursday. 

While England were in full strength at the nets session, RavichandranAshwin skipped Team India's two-and-half-hour session.

Also missing from it were Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla and new inclusion Parwinder Awana, who are all engaged in Ranji Trophy duty for their respective states.

"It was an optional net session," informed Indian team's manger Sathish when asked about Ashwin's absence from training. 

He went on to add that Rahane will join the team later on Tuesday evening with Jadeja while Awana will be arrive on Wednesday. 

Chawla is already in Nagpur, playing the Ranji game for Uttar Pradesh (against Vidarbha at the old VCA stadium).


Image: Gautam Gambhir and coach Duncan Fletcher have a word after taking a look at the wicket


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The wicket looks dry

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The wicket looks dry and baked under the sun in surprisingly warm conditions and the ground staff appear to have stopped watering it.

The curator, who has been told not to talk to the media, was unavailable for comment.

The English team trained at the venue in the morning. Stuart Broad, who is nursing a heel injury, limped off. He was unlikely to be considered in the playing eleven for the Test after being dropped for the Kolkata having failed to get a wicket in the earlier two Tests.

India have a 2-1 win-loss record at this ground, having beaten Australia by 172 runs in November, 2008, lost to South Africa by an innings and 6 runs in February, 2010 and beaten New Zealand by an innings and 198 runs in November, 2010.


Image: The strip on which the fourth Test will be played


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'We play on it, whatever comes on Thursday'

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England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who has taken 17 wickets in the three Test matches so far, at just over 24 per wicket, said he can't comment about the pitch, as he did not have a proper look it.

"I don't know. I haven't seen the pitch yet. We went straight out to the nets," he told reporters after the training session.

In fact, he was not too concerned about the wicket.

"It doesn't matter what you believe, because we will know whatever happens on Thursday morning. I am sure the management and coach will look at it and they will assess it. We play on it, whatever comes on Thursday," he said. 

This is the fourth Test to be played at the venue, which hosted the first match in 2008, against Australia, the last tie played by former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar inspects the pitch before the nets session


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'The spinners will come into effect from day two'

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A source close to curator Pravin Hinganikar said it is a good, sporting wicket.

"The wicket will have good carry and the batsmen will also love batting on this wicket.

"The spinners will come into effect from day two, but the pacers will get good bounce throughout."


Image: Team India players Pragyan Ojha, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli during the nets session


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