Indian batsmen found themselves at sea while negotiating the "uneven bounce" of the practice wicket on offer for the third ODI against England at Ranchi on Saturday with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be playing at his home ground, surviving an injury scare.
Dhoni was hit on his right thumb by a rising delivery during the team's practice at the newly-built stadium, though the team management later said he was fit and out of danger.
It was not only the Indian skipper who was taken aback by the uneven bounce, his team-mates either got hit or beaten by the pace movements of deliveries from even the net bowlers.
If it was bowling coach Joe Dawes' rising delivery which cut short Dhoni's practice stint at the nets, a district-level left-arm seamer made it difficult for Ajinkya Rahane with his balls taking inside edges of the India opener.
Rahane was also troubled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma outside the off-stump line.
Just before Dhoni was hit, Virat Kohli took a blow on his bottom hand from a rising Ishant delivery but recovered quickly to bat again with ease. Rohit Sharma was also seen to be having a difficult time with the bounce.
Yuvraj Singh, too, had some difficulties negotiating the bounce as Indians found the going tough in the adjoining practice wicket.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said it would be a good toss to win tomorrow as the home side would like to assess the pitch first and put the opposition into bat.
"It's our first match and we don't know how the wicket is going to behave or there will be how much bounce and turn.
It's better to field on this wicket. So, toss will be crucial here," Jadeja said at the pre-match media conference.
First Published: January 18, 2013, 8:22 pm