India’s optional training session was expected to be a peaceful day, but it turned out to be busy as captain Rohit Sharma was plagued with injuries. When faced with a slowdown by one of the three specialists India uses, Rohit was hit in the forearm in pain and gave up batting, but with a decent punch that started the session aggressively.
Indian batters like to hit dog throwers because of the extreme tempo they generate. They believe these slowdowns have improved their reaction time to high speeds. But that ball just bounced off and hit Rohit’s right forearm. Rohit’s first reaction was what looked like a nasty punch. He felt pain and sought immediate medical attention. About five minutes later he put on his gloves to see how his hands felt, but he walked away having played only one of his balls.
Rohit sat beside him with a large ice pack on his arm. Mental coach Paddy Upton had a long talk with him. Slowdown expert D Raghavendra looked distraught. But after about 45 minutes, Rohit was back in the net. He started off cautiously, defending a few easy slowdowns to get that feeling back in his arm, then hit as normal. Even against Raghavendra’s slowdown.
At the end of the session, Rohit chats with Raghavendra, seemingly reassuring the support person. Rohit has little to worry about as he has one more training session ahead of the semi-final against England.
Another interesting part of the option session is the time Dinesh Karthik spent batting. He and Hardik Pandya were the only other members of the team who chose to use the training session.
Karthik was not played in India’s final league match as he hoped to give time to Rishabh Pant in midfield, especially considering Spinner remained in the tournament. Five of the remaining six spinners — Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodi, and Adil Rashid — steal the ball from right-handed hitters. With that in mind, I considered keeping my pants ready in case India played against him. Earlier, India touted his Axar Patel to attempt to perform a left-right combo when the spinner was in action.
However, if India chooses to punt, Hardik may need to bring Pandia down to his sixth. Pandya used to have that job with the Mumbai Indians, but this year he’s playing more like a long-inning midfielder who likes to get in before he starts batting.
India could face Moeen Ali’s action in the semi-finals. That tilts the scales a bit in Karthik’s favorite Indian team manager said a punt in the final match does not mean Karthik is not favored. may indicate that is very knowledgeable about England.
“Of course, it gives us the opportunity to monitor this match, but it also allows us to look to the future and open our options. I think everyone has a choice. Just because someone misses the game doesn’t mean they can’t go back and make decisions, a similar way can be trailed. We can go another way.”