India-Australia T20 Tie: Indian squad fine-tunes skills in the nets at PCA


Deepankar Sharda

Mohali, September 18

If today’s practice session is to be considered, Indian batsmen are surely eyeing big score against Australia in the upcoming T20 match scheduled to be held on September 20 at IS Bindra PCA Stadium here.

Vendors sell flags and other items outside the stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky

The Indian team attended its first-ever combined practice session after the recently concluded Asia Cup, here today. The aggression was clearly seen on the faces of Indian batsmen, led by Virat Kohli, skipper Rohit Sharma, opener KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and others. Kohli concentrated more on pull shots against fast bowlers and was also stepping out against spinners. Besides facing throw balls, the former skipper was seen facing short balls by pacer net bowlers and also Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. He remained on the nets for nearly an hour before heading for a discussion with coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Sharma.

Kohli has a special connection with the IS Bindra PCA Stadium as he played his 100th Test for India here earlier this year. His one of the memorable unbeaten 82-run innings was at the same ground against Australia during the 2016 World Cup T20. All-rounders Pandya and Axar Patel also opened their arms here.

While batters were right on the fire, bowlers were seen sweating it out hard at the nets. Bumrah, who has made a comeback to the Indian side after recovering from an injury, was seen in perfect shape to bowl his signatures yorkers, while Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal were also seen targeting the wickets. While Indian players also attended a brief fielding and catching session, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was seen focusing more on catching practice.

Vendors expect good biz

Vendors selling Indian team jerseys, team flags and other articles have arrived here to make a buck on the match day. “I have reached here from Rajasthan and will remain here for the next three days. A good turnout for the match is surely beneficial for the business. Post-Covid, things are turning out to be a bit tough for a small-time vendors like me. However, I am hoping of earning some money in the upcoming events,” said Rudra, who came all the way from Rajasthan to sell Indian team jerseys.

New stands to be unveiled

As reported on September 6, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) will unveil stands named after Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, an hour before the match. The South Pavilion has been named after Harbhajan, while the North Pavilion is named after Yuvraj. “We have taken this initiative to honour all star players of Punjab,” said PCA secretary Dilsher Khanna.

Over 8,000 cops to stand guard

Over 8,000 cops from various districts of Punjab are likely to guard the stadium on the match day.