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WTC Final 2023: Indian players using multi-coloured rubber ‘reaction balls’ to adjust to wicked deviation

Jun 3, 2023

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Team India. (Photo Source : Twitter/@BCCI)

The World Test Championship final 2023 is just a few days away as India and Australia will lock horns in the summit clash from June 7 at the Oval in London. Ahead of the summit clash, India have begun their preparations as the team went through a special fielding drill using multi-coloured rubber balls for catching.

The special balls are being used to get accustomed to the last-minute deviations in the swinging conditions of England with the Dukes ball. During India’s practice session at Arundel ground in Portsmouth, young batting sensation Shubman Gill was spotted taking catches with green and yellow coloured balls which were not lawn tennis balls.

“These are specially made rubber balls, not the ones we are used to seeing in gully cricket. This is made for fielding drills. These balls are named ‘reaction balls’ and it is used for fielding drills only in some specific countries, mainly England or New Zealand where breeze and colder conditions become a factor,” a renowned fielding coach, who has worked at NCA and at national camps, was quoted as saying by News18.

Notably, Australia finished on the top spot in the WTC points table with a points percentage of 66.67, while India finished second with 58.80 percentage points. The two teams recently faced each other in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India, which the hosts won 2-1 and dethroned Australia to become the top-ranked Test  team.

Meanwhile, some players such as Cheteshwar Pujara from India and Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne from Australia were also playing in the County Championship to get themselves acclimatized to the conditions in England.

Australia have qualified for the WTC final for the first time, while India have made it to their second conseucitve one after losing to New Zealand in the previous cycle. Rohit and Co. are marred by injuries to their several star players and some would be fatigued after playing non-stop in IPL 2023 for two months.

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