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Respect their privacy!

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2012 00:47 IST
Hindustan Times
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Dope testing, as a norm, is strictly conducted in privacy. But on Tuesday, there was huge drama around the random testing of India players, which was carried out in public glare. R Ashwin, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh faced the embarrassing situation of having to undergo their tests in full view of the media and public.

It could be the lack of space at the small club building at the Colts Cricket Club, the venue of India's practice session, or just bad timing. But Ashwin, Sehwag and Harbhajan were accompanied by the camera lenses right to the doorstep of the sample collection room and escorted back.

In Despair

Sehwag mockingly held ajar the door, asking if the cameramen had got a good shot of the room which was being used as office by the anti-doping officials.

On a day when no games were scheduled in Colombo, India's training session was the centre of attraction at the World Twenty20 tournament. It was also for the presence of the anti-doping team. The medical officials were only there for random testing but stirred commotion as their presence always does when anywhere near a sporting venue.

Random dope-testing is done by World Anti-Doping Agency during ICC events. The three India players' samples were taken as part of in-competition testing. Initially, there was confusion over whether Yuvraj Singh was also asked to give his sample as he was overheard complaining about having to do it again.

Various Drills

Earlier, the India players resumed training in right earnest after a day's break. Shuttle running, which involves short sprints, was followed by mini-boxing sessions before the attention turned to honing cricket skills in the rigorous two-and-half hour drill.

The focus remained on Sehwag, Yuvraj and Zaheer Khan. Sehwag because of speculation whether he was fit or not, Yuvraj because of questions whether he will fit in the five-bowler combination and Zaheer due to questions over his role in the side.

Sehwag did not bat in the nets, adding to doubts whether he has recovered from the knock he suffered on his right thumb while batting in the nets at the P Sara Oval last week. The participation of Sehwag, who was rested against England on Sunday, was restricted to fitness training as he enthusiastically did the sprint runs and participated in the mini-boxing session.

No Bandage

"Sehwag is perfectly alright," India's media manager said. The batsman himself was heard telling a friend, 'there are still two days to go for batting practice'. But there was no bandage on his thumb. If Sehwag doesn't play, or is left out in favour of a six-bowling combination, then Irfan is an option to open. He was among the first to get a hit and had a long batting session.

Yuvraj didn't bat in the nets and Harbhajan didn't bowl. Zaheer gave his all in training, going full throttle in the nets after the fitness drills. But after the success of the five-bowler combination against England, he is also fighting for his place in the eleven.

If the idea is to fit in an extra bowler, then bowlers who can bat will be preferred. The big-hitting competition of the day was again won by MS Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary. Nine balls were lost in the nets session, six of them were hit out of the park by Dhoni and three by Tiwary.