LEICESTER: Indian cricketers, including skipper Rohit Sharma and opener Shubman Gill, on Monday hit the nets here ahead of the rescheduled fifth and final Test against England, starting in Birmingham on July 1.
Rohit and Gill are likely to open the innings for India in the Test and the duo got into the groove as they looked to sharpen their skills during the practice session at the Leicestershire County Ground.
Rohit, who was rested for the T20I series against South Africa at home, defended few deliveries on the front foot, while also playing the pull shots against the short balls. Gill, too, looked to work on his game during the batting session.
India will be based here for a week and play Leicestershire in a four-day warm-up match from June 24.
The duo of Rohit and KL Rahul had played a pivotal role in India securing a 2-1 lead in the Test series in Engand last year before the final match was abandoned owing to a Covid-19 outbreak.
Rahul, however, will miss the tour this time because of a groin injury, which had also ruled him out of the series against South Africa. His absence opened the door for Gill to open for India.
Rohit had amassed 368 runs in 4 Tests, including a hundred and two fifties, while Rahul racked up 315 runs, comprising a hundred and a half-century.
Gill had played a crucial role in India’s historic Test series win on Australian soil in 2020-21 and will be keen to make a mark in the UK after returning to the squad following last year’s series against New Zealand. It will also be the first time that Rohit will be leading the team in Test cricket overseas.
England, led by Ben Stokes, have been in sensational form, having recently won 2-0 against reigning World Test Championship winners New Zealand.
India’s tour of England also comprises three T20Is and as many ODIs, and the visitors will play two warm-up matches against Derbyshire and Northamptonshire before the white-ball series.
Indian players such as Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jedaja, who were not part of the South Africa series, had their first training session in England last week.