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Daredevils space themselves well

A day before the match against the Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag picked at his food, during lunch, in a distracted manner. Amrit Mathur reports.

cricket Updated: Apr 23, 2011 00:14 IST
Amrit Mathur

A day before the match against the Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag picked at his food, during lunch, in a distracted manner. The waiters rushed to get him hot rotis and more but Sehwag shunned the non-vegetarian stuff, choosing to concentrate on a dal-subzi meal. "It is hot," he said, "so better to eat light."

No peace
But it was hardly a quiet meal for him — even as he ate in the hotel coffee shop (room service takes too long), fans asked for autographs, and he was constantly on the phone, texting messages.
A while later, at practice, Sehwag stretched for a while, assisted by trainer Manoj, and picked his bat to hit balls.

While his teammates inspected the track, Viru chose to knock near the boundary, gently easing into an off-drive, satisfied to see the ball hit the middle of the bat and clatter into the advertising boards.

Measured steps
Others like Morne Morkel went through a more rigorous preparation. Morne measured his run-up with a tape, placed a marker on the turf, and then bowled a longish spell to check his rhythm. "I feel good," he declared after the workout. "Few days back, my stomach gave up and all energy just sapped from my body, but the strength has returned and now I am fine."

Having a ball
Fellow South African, trainer Rob Walters, was another one in high spirits. He along with some others spent time at the golf course, the round cost them Rs 10,000 each (green fees and renting clubs) but the blow was lessened, at least for Rob, as he got a hole-in-one on the 160-yard 8th with an eight iron.

Robert Frylink, another South African, a skilled golfer himself, was witness to the amazing strike. "It was absolutely stunning," he remarked in awe. Frylink is yet to play in the IPL but says he is enjoying the experience. "It is great," he said, "being with players of such quality. And, having played in Durban for many seasons, I like India."