LONDON: Unusually it’s the Indian camp rather than Pakistan that seems in disarray. The feud between Indian team captain Virat Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble is not an ideal start for the defending champions.
To add spice the Indian team management was not happy at the practice facilities at Edgbaston and that could have made the mood more intense. The media was hampered in their video coverage as a long thick black sight screen was put in place to restrict the coverage.
But the drills were well executed and there seemed no problems in the preparations.
Amitabh Choudhry, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, was at his best in denying the reported rift between the coach and the captain and said that the process of finding a new coach will be completed soon.
“I don’t see any smoke or any rift,” Choudhry told media. “I think its a figment of imagination of some people. We are following the process of selecting a new coach and there will be a shortlist of coaches before you by the evening.”
Despite the denial the heat was very much evident in the practice with no interaction between Kumble and Kohli.
When India is practicing there are bound to be fans as a handful of fans gathered outside the practice area to have a glimpse and selfies with the players and without any doubt Kohli and MS Dhoni were the most sought after.
“I came here from Baroda,” said Leela Modi. “I am here to watchIndia-Pakistan game and needless to say that I am supporting the Blues.”
But some fans from Punjab were more friendly.
“There is no difference from Indian Punjab and Pakistan Punjab because people from Punjab have big hearts and they don’t harbor any enimosity.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game were already sold out allowing some opportunists to make money through blackmarketting. A pound 50 ticket is sold at ten times its price and with the match fast approach it will rise further.