Rohit Sharma in press conference© BCCI

Was lack of practice matches the reason behind Team India’s loss in the first Test against South Africa? India captain Rohit Sharma doesn’t think playing First Class practice Tests would have given the team any benefit because of the ‘contrasting difference’ in the two situations. After India lost the opening Test to South Africa by an innings and 32 runs, Rohit was asked in the press conference about the team’s decision to snub practice matches over intra-squad contests.

Rohit highlighted the nature of wickets and the opponent team’s players in the practice matches as the reason behind the team’s decision to play intra-squad matches instead. The India skipper claimed that the wickets the team gets in practice matches don’t produce the sort of bounce and pace the actual match pitches do.

“We have been playing practice matches in the last 4-5 years. We also tried to play first-class matches. The wicket that you get in the matches, you won’t get that in the practice matches. It is better that we prepare according to our requirements, we prepare the pitch according to our requirements. We can have control of the ground,” said Rohit in a media conference.

“When we went to Australia the last time, when we played in South Africa in 2018, the ball didn’t bounce beyond the knee-roll on practice pitches. But here, the ball flies over your head. So, all these things were considered and we decided to prepare according to our own style,” Rohit added.

Rohit said he is open to playing practice Tests on tours, provided the wickets offered a similar to the ones that are used in actual matches.

“If you get the conditions in a practice match that would be similar to the ones in the Tests, then it’s fine. Bowlers also, we get pacers who bowl 120-125 kph. We have experienced that in the last two or three practice matches. It’s better we face our own bowlers and prepare pitch according to our will,” he asserted.

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