Jadeja slams the practice pitch at Dhoni's home ground

Jan 18, 2013, 21:41 IST | PTI

Indian skipper MS Dhoni getting hurt during training sees all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja criticising the 'uneven bounce' of the practice pitch at Ranchi

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on Friday said the practice wickets at the newly built stadium in Ranchi had "uneven bounce" which did trouble the senior players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh during final practice session ahead of the third ODI against England.

"It (practice pitch) was a bit of uneven it seemed. It was not like a match-wicket. We will see tomorrow how the main strip behaves," Jadeja said at the pre-match press conference.

The Indian batsmen found themselves at sea while negotiating the "uneven bounce" of the practice wicket on offer for the third ODI against England in Ranchi on Friday with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be playing at his home ground, surviving an injury scare.

Dhoni was hit on his right thumb by a rising delivery during the team's practice at the newly-built stadium, though the team management later said he was fit and out of danger.

Yuvraj , Dhoni

Yuvraj and Dhoni both had problems with the uneven bounce of the practice pitch. File Pic

It was not only the Indian skipper who was taken aback by the uneven bounce, his team-mates either got hit or beaten by the pace movements of deliveries from even the net bowlers. 

If it was bowling coach Joe Dawes' rising delivery which cut short Dhoni's practice stint at the nets, a district-level left-arm seamer made it difficult for Ajinkya Rahane with his balls taking inside edges of the India opener. Rahane was also troubled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma outside the off-stump line. 

Just before Dhoni was hit, Virat Kohli took a blow on his bottom hand from a rising Ishant delivery but recovered quickly to bat again with ease. 

Rohit Sharma was also seen to be having a difficult time with the bounce. Yuvraj Singh, too, had some difficulties negotiating the bounce as Indians found the going tough in the adjoining practice wicket. 

Yuvraj Singh, too, had some difficulties negotiating the bounce as Indians found the going tough during the net session.

Jadeja, who won the man-of-the-match award in Kochi for his all-roun show feels that when the first match is played on a new strip, it's always better to field first.

"It's our first match and we don't know how the wicket is going to behave and the amount of bounce and turn on offer. It's better to field on this wicket. So, toss will be crucial here," Jadeja sounded apprehensive but hoped that the strip would be alright after being rolled a number of times.

The Saurashtra lad said that Ranchi pitch won't be a featherbed where 300 plus totals will be easily achievable. "I don't think this wicket is like the one in Rajkot. The outfield also doesn't seem that fast. But if the wicket is firm and has even bounce, it will help us prepare for the next game in Mohali," concluded Jadeja.

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