Members of the Indian cricket team, who were not part of the just-concluded Test series against England, arrived in Dubai on Thursday to feature in 14th edition of Asia Cup, starting from Saturday (September 15).
As per a report in Sportstar, the first batch of Indian cricketers, including captain Rohit Sharma and legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, trained at the picturesque ICC Academy ground on Friday afternoon. The ardent Indian fans witnessed the stars in action from the close quarters amidst scorching heat.
However, even the hardcore Indian supporters found it hard to identify the players as the BCCI has deputed five new bowlers to help the batch of eight. Report suggests that medium-pacers M. Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Siddarth Kaul sweated it out in the nets alongside leg-spinner Mayank Markande and veteran left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
It is worth noting here that six Indian players – Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur – will join the team in Dubai on September 16. All these six players were part of the England Test series that concluded on Tuesday (September 11).
While all the five net bowlers tried their best to impress the seniors, it seemed that the regular India players were focusing on getting acclimatized to the blazing afternoon sun rather than honing their skills.
Addressing the media conference, India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that the condition is not really pleasant.
“Not so pleasant for sure, which is probably the reason we wanted to come early and prepare ourselves,” Rohit said.
“We have never played in this part of the world since India is playing here after so long, so wanted to come over a little early and get used to the conditions. As for the guys who are coming back from England, having been away from home for so long, it will serve right for them to spend a couple of days with their families and then come over and spend some time in the middle. It's going to be tough to face the conditions but it's going to be the same again,” he added.
India will begin its Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong on September 18, a day before they face arch-rivals Pakistan.
India squad for Asia Cup 2018:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed