As Dinesh Karthik attempted some big hits at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday evening, there was hectic activity on a part of the outfield that had spoiled the Duleep Trophy semifinal between East and North Zones here the other day.
Karthik and Stuart Binny have come into the South Zone team, in place of Kerala’s Sandeep Warrier and Rohan Prem for the final against North which begins on Thursday, and the two were eager to have a small taste of the ground that had given North nearly 600 runs in the last game here.
A few metres away, a line of square pits were being dug up by the groundsmen to allow the expected rain to flow through faster and leave the outfield good for play.
Kochi is hosting its first-ever Duleep Trophy final, and with just over two days’ play possible in the semifinal here, the host Kerala Cricket Association is eager to see that the rain does not spoil the five-day trophy clash.
The South team, led by Abhinav Mukund, includes B. Aparajith, Pragyan Ojha, Abhimanyu Mithun and Kerala left-arm spinner C.P. Shahid.
Gautam Gambhir is expected to arrive and strengthen the North team which has stars like Harbhajan Singh and Unmukt Chand.