Reports : India call up Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini as South Africa denies net bowlers

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Reports : India call up Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini as South Africa denies net bowlers

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SportsCafe Desk


Indian cricket team was reportedly forced to call up Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini for their net practice sessions after it was learnt that South Africa weren't providing quality net bowlers. Both players will reach Johannesburg two days before the start of the third and final Test on January 24.

India have already lost the three-match Test series 2-0 with the last Test scheduled to be played at the Wanderers Stadium. However, India won't be leaving any inch of preparation for the last match and have reportedly demanded quality pace bowlers from India to practice for the final five-dayer. Delhi fast bowler Saini and Mumbai's pace spearhead Thakur have been asked to leave for South Africa on Saturday. They will join the squad on Sunday and will get two days for practice. Thakur is also a part of the ODI squad. 

"The team communicated to the selectors that they were not provided the help of quality net bowlers in South Africa. Hence, the arrangement has been made after the match. There may be just one Test left but the team doesn't want to leave any stone unturned to better its performance," a top BCCI official told TOI.

"The decision to send fresh net bowlers was mulled for a week. But the team management insisted on having its own bowlers. Thakur will stay over for the ODIs. As for Saini, his growth has been impressive and the selectors and the team management want to have a look at him in the nets."

India's pace attack has managed to impress in the first two Tests through their consistent performances, but it was their batsmen who failed to deliver, resulting in a 72-run loss and 135-run loss in Cape Town and Centurion respectively. 

India’s preparation was affected ahead of the series due to long and busy international schedule for which Virat Kohli has already raised his voice. The team even decided not to play practice games as they had carried three fast pacers Mohammed Siraj, Ankit Rajpoot, and Basil Thampi to bowl in the nets. Saini’s name was also included in the list but after Gautam Gambhir’s insistence, he decided to play semifinal and final of Ranji Trophy. After starting the first Test in Newlands on January 5, all the three pacers were sent back to India.

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