There was tizzy in the Australian camp when at nets Indian origin local net bowler Jaikishen Plaha suffered a head blow when David Warner hit an uppish straight drive in the nets straight to him a day before the Aussies meet India at the Oval. Plaha, one of the seven local bowlers mandated to bowl to both the teams at nets, was put under medical observation and shifted to the hospital as a precautionary measure is now said to be out of danger. The team medic was quick to attend to Plaha who was then stretchered out of the ground. Later in the day, Australian captain Aaron Finch said: "Dave was pretty shaken up. It is unfortunate but the medical staff did a great job. Responding to the suggestion of net bowlers getting helmets to bowl, Finch said that was a good idea and "is going to be a personal preference".
Gloving the issue
As the nation rages over a non-issue of Dhoni wearing the Army emblem over his gloves and the ICC not allowing him to do so, vice-captain Rohit Sharma coolly fielded off the expected query around the issue at the pre-match Press conference. "I have no idea about it, honestly," he said. When the journalist persisted, he added: "See, I'm not the captain. I don't know what's going on with that. Probably we'll see it tomorrow."
Net cut short
Indian nets at the Oval on match eve was not a full team event, what with the clouds hovering over the middle menacingly to scrap the proceedings. Neither Virat Kohli nor Jaspreet Bumrah could be seen practicing at the ground once their late afternoon session started. On the other hand, the Australians had a full-team exercise and practice session where they went into push-ups, played a bit of football and batted in right earnest at nets.
Lord's & Oval
If Lord's is the stiff upper lip of cricket, Oval with a 25,000 capacity is equally cool with history. If Lord's is diffident to run scoring, Oval is indulgent with the bat. If Lord's is Middlesex, Oval is all about Surrey. If Mike Gatting was about Middlesex, Alec Stewart shone with Surrey the home club of Oval and county cricket's second most successful red-ball team after Yorkshire. The Oval is home to Surrey Cricket Club, who claimed their 19th County Championship title in 2018 and their first since 2002. They are the second most successful county in history behind Yorkshire. It is also home to the Surrey Stars women's side, who won the women's Super League T20 competition for the first time in 2018. Surrey's crest is the Prince of Wales feathers because the ground is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate belonging to Prince Charles. India won their first ever Test match in England on this ground which has a reputation of aiding both bowlers and batsmen.