Sydney, Jan 30 (IANS) The Indian cricket team’s training session at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park here Monday was hampered due to damp and soft practice pitches ahead of the two Twenty20 internationals against Australia.
While Australia benefited from the full training session at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), India’s practice at the ANZ Stadium in west Sydney was restricted to just fielding drills and a bit of soccer.
The ANZ Stadium is the venue of the first Twenty20 slated for Wednesday while the second will be held in Melbourne, Friday. The tri-series, also involving Sri Lanka, starts Sunday in Melbourne.
India coach Duncan Fletcher used the session to get the team used to the surroundings, where they will play the first Twenty20.
The Indian team, however, will not be taking any chances and will train Tuesday at the SCG.
ANZ stadium curator Les Burdett said the practice pitches were wet due to heavy rains that lashed Sydney last week.
“It’s been very wet in Sydney. It rained last week and since the practice pitches are round in the corner and there is no proper sunlight (because of the extended roof of the stadium), they are damp,” he said.
India batsman Suresh Raina said since the team had three days of solid nets in Adelaide, missing a net session Monday won’t affect them much.
“We didn’t have proper nets but we had a good fielding session in the morning. Anyway, the solid practice sessions at Adelaide Oval have been very helpful,” he said.
The ANZ Stadium has been the preferred choice of New South Wales Cricket because it can accommodate 80,000 people. More spectators mean better gate receipts and some 60,000 spectators are expected to turn up for Wednesday’s match.