New Delhi: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni skipped training as the Chennai Super Kings players had their customary net session on "really slow practice wickets" as some of the players found out. The CSK players practised in two batches and some of them weren't really amused to find that the practice wickets laid out for net sessions were really slow in nature.
"This is not a conducive wicket for having a decent knock. The ball is taking ages to come onto the bat. I think this is not even good enough for the fringe players like us to bat on. So you can imagine that the first XI boys won't be too happy with this strip," one of the reserve players commented.
When DDCA curator Venkat Sundaram was asked about the nature of the practice pitches, he said,"There is absolutely no problem with practice wickets. May be, they wanted to have a hit in one of the centre wickets but that is not allowed prior to the match day." Meanwhile, CSK's bowling coach Andy Bichel predictably said that his team can't take Delhi Daredevils lightly simply because the home team have lost five straight matches.
"They are a dangerous side with Sehwag and Warner at the top. Also having lost five straight games, they have nothing to lose and will be coming hard at us. I will call DD as 'Dangerous Delhi'" Bichel told mediapersons on the eve of the match. CSK has lost a couple of home matches and Bichel agreed that 'Fortress Chepauk" has been breached.
"There is definitely room for lot of improvement as far as our performance is concerned. We haven't played well at home which is our fortress. It's basically a new group and we are getting used to each other," former Aussie speedster said. Bichel was all praise for paceman Chris Morris, who has been impressive for the 'Men in Yellow.'
"Morris is an exciting prospect. He did well for the Highveld Lions in the Champions League T20. He is a good asset to have in place of someone like Ben Hilfenhaus." Bichel defended Aniruddha Srikkanth's selection and reminded that he had played a good knock against "Rajasthan Royals" last year.
The Queenslander didn't take names when asked if any young player has caught his attention but he showered accolades on Virat Kohli's captaincy. "I am impressed in the manner Virat Kohli is leading RCB. He has led RCB in earlier seasons but he looks like the young leader in Indian cricket. It will only benefit Indian cricket," he quipped.
Being the bowling coach of the side, he has certainly been entrusted with the job of grooming young talents like Ankit Rajpoor, Mohit Sharma and Imtiyaz Ahmed. "I tell them to do the basics right. Just what AB (de Villiers) said yesterday night after the game. Sachin Tendulkar is so successful as he still does the basics right."