India’s location for the practice session here on a sunny morning was nothing short of scenic. The team took full advantage and went about their regular routine with the normal stretches and warm-ups before they walked out to the nets to prepare for the all-important World Cup tie against Pakistan Sunday.
A plush surrounding in the midst of greenery welcomed the team at St. Peter’s College, a ten minute drive from the team hotel.
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 thrown down the deliveries to the batsmen.
The result, the ball was delivered from a height greater than usual with steep bounce, making the batsmen play on the backfoot – a method probably being used to prepare for Pakistan’s seven-feet tall pacer Mohammad Irfan.
Away from the main nets, a mini-match took place between the rest of the team with proper field placements and batsmen on each end.
The pacers got to bat with some innovative and big shots flying off Mohit Sharma and 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 Mahendra Singh Dhoni were found having a long discussion.
Dhoni, then, walked out to bat and spent some time at the nets. Virat Kohli walked out to some cheers as he played some exquisitely timed shots often clearing the field.
Umesh Yadav worked up good pace and beat the batsmen on occasions. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a low-key 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.