Throwdowns from elevated height and a mini-match made for an interesting training session
By Anand Subramaniam
Adelaide,12 February : India’s location for the practice session in Adelaide on a sunny Thursday morning was nothing short of scenic. A plush surrounding in the midst of greenery welcomed the team at St.Peter’s College, a ten minute drive away from the team hotel. The team went about its regular routine with the normal stretches and warm-ups before they walked out to the nets.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had a long stint at the nets batting for close to an hour. An interesting feature of India’s practice session was the use of two mini stools to throw down at the batsmen. A member of the team management would climb on to the stool and then throw down the deliveries to the batsmen. The result, the bowl was delivered from a height greater than usual with a steep bounce, making the batsmen play on the backfoot – a method to prepare for facing seven feet tall Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfan one would assume. Most deliveries were dealt with confidence with the backfoot punch and the pull shot on display.
Away from the main nets, a mini-match was going on between the rest of the teammates with proper field placements and batsmen on each end. The pacers got to bat with some innovative and big shots flying off Mohit Sharma & Mohammad Shami’s bats. Once done, the duo bowled for a long time trying to stick to a line and length all under the watchful eyes of coach Duncan Fletcher.
Amidst all this India team director Ravi Shastri and captain MS Dhoni were found having a long discussion. Dhoni then walked out to bat and spent some quality time at the nets. He timed a few deliveries well and tonked some of them to bring a loud cheer from the school children gathered there. Virat Kohli too walked out to some cheers as he played some exquisitely timed shots often clearing the field.
Umesh Yadav worked up a good pace and beat the batsmen on occasions. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a silent bowling session and bowled a few delivers towards the end of practice. Interestingly, Dhawal Kulkarni bowled for long along with the rest of the pacers. The rest of the batsmen got their regular throwdowns from Sanjay Bangar who also occasionally bowled spin and the batsmen hit the sweet spot of their bats.