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Gautam Gambhir bats at New Delhi nets ahead of second warm-up match against England

Gautam Gambhir bats at New Delhi nets ahead of second warm-up match against England

Gautam Gambhir has managed just 34 runs in the three ODIs against Pakistan © PTI

New Delhi: Jan 7, 2013

Not many people turn up at the state team’s net session the very next afternoon after having played a day-night game for the country but probably Gautam Gambhir had no option but to seriously think about ironing out the flaws that has crept into his batting.

The Delhi team will play the second practice game against the touring England side at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground which will be a day-night affair and Gambhir’s presence raised obvious questions as to whether he would be playing the match.

However, Delhi chief coach Vijay Dahiya clarified that neither Gambhir nor Virender Sehwag will be playing the match.

“Gautam has just come to have some serious net practice. He is not playing in the match tomorrow. Viru had also called up to inform that he is not coming,” Dahiya said as he kept a close watch on senior opener’s batting.

Gambhir batted for a lengthy duration twice but never looked comfortable against the left-arm pace duo of Ashish Nehra and Pradeep Sangwan. Sangwan, who is unlikely to play on Tuesday, was seen beating Gambhir’s bat on a number of occasions.

“Look, when you score runs, no one looks at your flaws but people talk about it only when you don’t get runs. If you ask me what’s the problem with Gautam, it is the lack of decisiveness in his footwork,” the former India glovesman said.

On the match, Dahiya said that it will be a good opportunity for some of the Delhi players to showcase their skills as it’s an official List A match.

“When you are playing a quality side like England, there shouldn’t be any lack of motivation even though we haven’t qualified for the knock-outs of Ranji Trophy. A good knock or a good spell might help a player to come into prominence,” Dahiya said.

With the Indo-Pak match being a low-scoring affair, does he expect the same to happen in their match, Dahiya replied,”I still don’t think that it was a 160-kind of track. Also I was surprised to find Pakistan batsmen playing Bhuvneshwar staying rooted to the crease. They have now played a few matches and have an idea as what to expected from him.”

Delhi are expected to play one among the two left-arm spinners Pawan Negi and Varun Sood while Parvinder Awana leads the pace attack with Nehra and Sumit Narwal for company.

It will also be a good test for Unmukt Chand and Shikhar Dhawan as they will get to face an international standard attack.

The England side will like to forget the humiliating defeat in the first match against India ‘A’ as regular skipper Alastair Cook will be playing the game. It will be interesting to see whether Stuart Meaker plays for England tomorrow while the team management decides on resting one among the trio of Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan.

Teams:

Delhi(Probable): Shikhar Dhawan(c), Unmukt Chand, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht, Pawan Negi, Pradeep Sangwan, Parvinder Awana, Ashish Nehra, Varun Sood, Dhruv Shorey.

England(Probable): Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter(wk), Stuart Meakar, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Petersen, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

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