Wet outfield washes out first day of India's only warm-up fixture

Pragyan OjhaPragyan Ojha has 113 Test wickets in 24 Tests so far, and notably is yet to play a Test outside the sub-continent. Will he be a part of the playing XI in the first Test? (File/BCCI Photo)

The Indian cricket team was dealt another blow on their current tour of South Africa, when play on day one of the two-day practice match here had to be abandoned without a single ball being bowled because of a wet outfield.

The game, the only warm-up fixture ahead of the Test series, was to be played against the South Africa Invitational XI at the Sahara Willowmoore Park. Instead, the Indian team ended up practising on by themselves, setting up nets around the main wicket and going through their drills.

The Indian team management had a discussion with match officials, who gave them a go-ahead to practice on the central pitch, the one slated to be used for this game.

Also, it was informed that should there be no more rain here during the day or overnight, the two teams will be back tomorrow morning to get atleast one day¿s play. It will be a 9.30 am start to get as many overs in as possible.

If not, that is more rain does come, then it is expected that team India will stay back in Johannesburg and use the practice facilities at the Wanderers stadium.

The Indian team went through their paces thereafter, setting up three groups to get the fielding and catching practice out of the way first. After that, the batsmen all padded up and took their turns batting to the Indian bowlers, as no net bowlers were made available on Friday.

It was interesting to note the order in which they batted. Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, took turns in pairs. Then came Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, followed by skipper MS Dhoni and R Aswhin.

Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja only took throw downs in the meantime, taking their turns to bat only in the latter stages.

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