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Kohli and Co pull out all the stops to face New Zealand left-arm quicks

cricket Updated: Sep 20, 2016 19:40 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times
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Captain Virat Kohli chats with batting coach Sanjay Bangar during a training session in Kanpur on Monday. (Manoj Yadav/HT Photo)

Virat Kohli and Co seem to have prepared differently for the left-arm quicks of New Zealand ahead of the first Test, which starts at the Green Park on Thursday.

The presence of seamers Pradeep Sangwan and Aniket Chaudhary and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav at the nets on Monday gave an insight into how India are planning for Kiwi fast bowlers Neil Wagner and Trent Boult.

Practice session

Chaudhary and Sangwan bowled uninterrupted to almost all the India batsmen during the training sessions in the morning and later on. Fresh from his success at the Duleep Trophy, Yadav troubled all with his spin variations, and ,barring Kohli, no one could get him away.

Though the South Africa-born Wagner couldn’t open his account against Mumbai in the practice match at the Feroz Shah Kotla, his strength is in the ability to swing the ball. The 30-year-old has also added reverse swing to his repertoire. Boult is a threat worldwide with the ability to move the ball both ways even in unhelpful conditions.

“We are aware of the two left-arm bowlers and are planning differently,” Ajinkya Rahane told HT after the team’s first training session. “It’s true we aren’t much aware about Wagner but his videos will give us an idea on how to handle him properly,” he said, adding, “We have been preparing for all kind of bowlers.”

Other than Chaudhary and Sangwan, local left-arm seamers too bowled at the nets with batting coach Sanjay Bangar monitoring the session in the absence of chief coach Anil Kumble, who is yet to arrive.

Ravichandran Ashwin was all smiles as some of his deliveries dipped on the slow surface. He watched fellow spinner Amit Mishra send down a few turners to Cheteshwar Pujara, who played them with soft hands. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan too had long batting sessions.

Countering spin

Bangar had some advice for Kohli when he began against the spinners. After playing a few deliveries with soft hands, Kohli hit some crashing shots through the mid-on region.

Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja were among the notable names missing from the training session in the morning, but off-spin by Murali Vijay entertained the fans, who cheered the opener when he came in to bat.

The Kiwis, who reached the city late on Sunday evening, chose to rest on Monday, and are expected to train on Tuesday afternoon.