Five-match One-day series against India, the England cricket team hopes to get some good practice when it takes on Hyderabad XI in the first of its two warm-up matches at the Rajiv Gandhi cricket stadium here Saturday.
The Alastair Cook-led team, which arrived here Oct 4, will be looking forward to test the local conditions ahead of the first One-day International to be played at the same venue on Oct 14.
Since all the five ODIs and the only Twenty20 are day-night affairs, both the practice matches will be played under lights. The visitors hope to get first-hand view of the local conditions, including the dew factor.
“I hope it would be great practice under the lights,” Cook had said at a press conference Thursday.
Since the new ICC rules would come into play with India-England series, the practice matches are likely to be played under the new guidelines, which include use of two new balls in an innings and a ban on runners.
“We are not sure how they (new rules) would affect the conditions but the team that adapts quickly to the changes will have an advantage,” he had said.
England, however, will face a weak opposition in the practice match. Since the top Indian players are either playing the Champions League Twenty20 or busy preparing for the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy beginning at Nagpur on Oct 10, England will get to practice only against a local team.
Hyderabad IX, which had a poor 2010-11 Ranji Trophy season, has only a couple of players with some international exposure.
Though the team has not yet been announced, an official of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) told IANS that the match would feature the same Twenty20 team which was announced recently for the South Zone Inter-State Twenty20 tournament to be held at Chennai from Oct 16.
The second practice match will be played on Oct 11.
England: Alastair Cook (c), Ian Bell, Scott Borthwick, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jade Demnach, Alex Hales, Stuart Meaker, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott.
Hyderabad XI: D.B. Ravi Teja (c). P. Akasath Reddy, T. Suman, G.H. Vihari, B. Sandeep, Ibrahim Khaleel, Arjun Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Anmol Shinde, Ahmed Quadri, Pramveer Singh, Kaneshk Naidu, Ashish Reddy, Anwar Khan and Neeraj Bist.