Indian team prefers practice, cancels 2-day warm-up game

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The search for high-quality practice time in order to acclimatise to South African conditions was behind India’s decision to cancel their warm-up match ahead of the 3-Test series.Instead of facing a South African Invitation side, which may have comprised players with scant franchise experience, as was the case against Zimbabwe 10 ten days ago on a flat, slow deck in Paarl, India have opted for 2 high-intensity training sessions at the Western Province Cricket Club, where they will try to replicate Test-match conditions.

“If you look at the wicket that we are playing on right now, it’s not even 15% of what we are going to get in the game,” Virat Kohli said, at the team’s first media engagement since arriving in the country 2 days ago.

“We understand that. There’s no point wasting two days, guys going in, scoring quick fifties and coming out. We’d rather have them do two sessions like today, get into Test match zone, test ourselves, try and prepare the wickets the way we want to.

“If you’re playing a two-day game, there’s no room to change the wicket at different times of the day. Here we have the freedom to put more water on the wicket, roll it, make it harder, come tomorrow’s practice session and then we have conditions that we want. You are never sure of whether you are going to get quality practice games or not. We would rather have practice sessions that are in our control, done the way we want to run them.”

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