Perfection doesn't come easy, and neither does it come cheap. And one man in Indian cricket can be singled out to back the statement. Even if it is for a popcorn tournament like the IPL.
The Rajasthan Cricket Association’s academy ground was still empty. As the scheduled time for the home team to practice was 4pm, the media hadn’t trickled in.Even the few local youngsters who were supposed to bowl and field at the nets were lazing around. But the distinct sound of ball hitting the sweet spot from one of the three nets was unmistakable.
The patented techniques and bat flow revealed it was a certain Rahul Dravid at the nets - practicing already, much before his team has arrived. “Yeh to kaafi pehle hi aa gaye the (He had come in much earlier),” said one of the security personnel.
The idea was clear. Till the time Shane Watson joins the team — which happens after Tuesday’s match — Dravid is to hold fort with Amit Paunikar.
The perfectionist wants to be match-ready, all the time, and it showed when the team took the field. Shaun Tait got a taste of what many of his Australia predecessors have dreaded over the last decade. The timing looked brilliant, and what more, Dravid was looking to accelerate too.
A flat wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium is making the prospect even rollicking. Virender Sehwag is likely to have some added problems, apart from getting a low on motivation team charged up.
Mate in arms
Some things go hand in hand. For Shane Warne, it’s always been the fingers that have worked magic. So, if there’s one thing that goes ‘finger in finger’ for the legendary leggie, it’s his cigarettes.
An unusual sight - rare, would be the right adjective — for any sports, for that matter. Warne walked during nets puffing his heart away, with fellow Aussie Tait in tow. At the nets, he was happy doing the coaching job and hardly bowled his leg-spinners. Guess, he's taking a breather. What say, mate!
The only one missing the action was Kiwi pacer Jacob Oram. And confirming the doubts, the team management said that he has a groin injury and will possibly sit out against Delhi. “It’s a long tournament, and we can't risk him for one practice,” said Johan Botha after the session.
Plenty of Problems
As for the Delhi Daredevils, the team chose to skip the nets. Straight to the action, the Sehwag way. However, they have quite a few problems to ponder over and address before they face Warne’s turners after Malinga’s toe-crushers.
Before the opening encounter, only their batting looked a bit weak. But now even bowling has come under the scanner with no high quality spinner in the squad.
“We do miss a world class spinner, but we hope to get our act together,” said Sehwag after the drubbing at the hands of the Mumbai Indians.