Simulation on uneven tracks: Rohit ignores blow and trains hard along with Kohli, Surya

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New York, Jun 8 (PTI) Rohit Sharma was struck on the thumb by a throwdown but didn't seem perturbed as Indian batters put in additional hours at the nets to counter the uneven bounce that might help Pakistan's pace attack during their marquee T20 World Cup clash here on Sunday.

Rohit, while facing left-arm throwdown specialist Nuwan Seneviratne, got hit on his left thumb by a delivery that lifted from the back of a good length area.

The Indian skipper looked in discomfort but shrugged it off as he continued to bat on. Rohit was then seen moving to the other end of the pitch to face the throwdowns.

The drop-in tracks at the Nassau County cricket ground have copped a lot of flak for the uneven bounce as balls are flying thick and fast from length due to wide cracks which are being rolled to create an even-bounce strip.

The Indian bowlers had a field day bowling out Ireland for 96 but Rohit and the senior pros know that against Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Amir, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, the challenge will be very different.

And hence, the coaching staff made three of the six drop-in practice strips at the Cantiague Park in Long Islands into abrasive ones with cracks to ensure proper match-simulation for top-order batters.

The Indian team's determination to dominate on tracks with dual bounce was evident if one cites an example of South African nets in the morning session on same tracks.

While Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje sent down their thunderbolts, none of the top Proteas batters wanted to risk getting injured ahead of the game against the Netherlands.

In contrast, their Indian counterparts embraced the testing conditions, using them to prepare for the upcoming challenge of facing the Pakistani attack on tracks where teams haven't crossed the 100-run mark in four out of six innings.

There were no half-measures for the Indian skipper, Virat Kohli and others during a three-hour afternoon session where they faced Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj.

Kohli, Pant and Suryakumar Yadav were the first Indian batters to hit the nets. They faced the likes of Arshdeep, Bumrah, Siraj, Khaleel along with the throwdown specialists who were hitting the hard length on a consistent basis.

For the batters, the focus was on negotiating the uneven bounce which was very much evident on those practice pitches.

Kuldeep's match-up against Pakistan ======================= Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has a fantastic match-up against Pakistani batters as one has seen in 50-over games but whether India would want to throw him in the middle in place of an Axar Patel remains to be seen.

If one looked at Babar Azam, his strike-rate against orthodox left-arm spinners is only a shade over 112 and hence Axar's dart-like deliveries on leg-middle could be very effective.

Kuldeep, who was surprisingly not picked in the playing XI in India's tournament opener against Ireland, had a long workout at the nets along with other spinners like Axar, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Against spinners, the batters were seen playing quite a few cross-batted shots like sweeps and reverse-sweeps.

As the nets session drew to a close, Jadeja and Shivam Dube took their turns batting, with Kohli joining them for his second stint of the day.

The practice concluded with a team bonding session, as players relaxed and enjoyed a game of football, fostering a lighter atmosphere. PTI Cor KHS PM KHS PM PM