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India players get into the groove

In the city for the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Series, which gets underway at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, from October 1, seven members of the India Test squad had a practice session, reports Ashutosh Sharma.

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2010 23:54 IST
Ashutosh Sharma

In the city for the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Series, which gets underway at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, from October 1, seven members of the India Test squad had a practice session on Sunday.

The players arrived in the city in two groups with Virender Sehwag and Ishant Sharma arriving on Saturday and the rest reaching on Sunday.

Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Sehwag, Amit Mishra, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant and V.V.S. Laxman, along with coach, Gary Kirsten, arrived for the net session after their arrival.

First to hit the nets were Tendulkar and Sehwag. Batting for close to an hour, both players tried to get an eye in and concentrated on playing the balls on their merit.

Zaheer looked in superb touch and bowled at full steam. He got movement both on and off the pitch and troubled both Tendulkar and Sehwag. Ishant, on his part, concentrated on bowling line and length, while Mishra and Harbhajan tried different variations.

Aware of Australia’s strengths, Kirsten later used a taped ball to give the Sehwag, Tendulkar and Laxman some practice against the seamers. Later, Harbhajan and Mishra joined in. A video footage of each player was also taken to analyse body movements.

Though intense in nature, the session was broken by some friendly banter as the players tried to get into the grove after a small hiatus. Looking relaxed, Tendulkar was the liveliest. After finishing practice, he helped Laxman and Harbhajan by throwing taped balls at them alongwith the coach.

The players did not speak to reporters but Kirsten will be happy that some of them had a good practice session, which lasted almost three hours.