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PHOTOS: Indians toil hard in optional practice session

September 28, 2016 19:30 IST

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Indian captain Virat Kohli during a practice session at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI.

Team India may have sealed the issue with four bowlers in the first cricket Test in Kanpur but going by early indications Amit Mishra is likely to get a call in the playing XI in the second match, in Kolkata, as the leg-spinner was seen slugging hard both with ball and bat during practice session, on Wednesday.

Only four India regulars – Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha -- turned up for practice while the spin duo of Ravichandra Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who accounted for 16 scalps in India's 197-run win in the first Test in Kanpur, opted for rest.

Amit Mishra

IMAGE: Indian cricketers during a practice session at Eden Gardens. Photograph: PTI.

India coach Anil Kumble, himself a leg spin legend, had underlined the importance of playing five bowlers and was seen in a long freewheeling chat with former captain Sourav Ganguly now the head of Cricket Association of Bengal. The duo saw the wicket and spoke to curator Sujan Mukherjee while Mishra kept bowling to captain Kohli, Sharma, Rahane in optional practice session.

Anil Kumble

IMAGE: Former captain and CAB President Sourav Ganguly, right, and Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble during a practice session. Photograph: PTI.

Terming himself old-fashioned, Kumble said, "In this squad we will only look at what is needed for that playing XI. We have constantly gone with five bowlers but in the last Test we felt an additional batsman was needed."

If Mishra is included, then India might as well stick to the remaining players with either Ajinkya Rahane or Rohit as the likely options for the opening slot vacated by Rahul.

As for the pitch, which has mostly remained under cover, it may not turn straightway from day one as India may feel the need for a third spinning option, something that was evident from Mishra's body language at the optional practice.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli during a practice session. Photograph: PTI.

With conditions overcast and muggy, the groundsmen did not take any chance as they kept most of the field covered leaving only the wicket and practice arena open.

A win in the second Test will not only seal the three-match series for India but hand Kohli's men the number one position in the Test rankings.

India are unbeaten from 12 matches at home which includes 10 victories and two draws since December 2012.