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Runs, throws and a knockout

The third day of India's conditioning camp for the tour of B'desh was a little different from the first two, reports Nilankur Das.

cricket Updated: May 05, 2007 03:57 IST

The third day of India's conditioning camp for the tour of Bangladesh was a little different from the first two not only did the players choose to do nets in the first half, there was also an intensive drill on running between the wickets.

In true Guru Greg style, the players paired up and ran the singles and twos under the watchful eyes of cricket manager Ravi Shastri.

Even as the running intensified, a throw from the deep from fast bowler VRV Singh hit a groundsman rolling the wicket and knocked him over.

The ball hit Gauranga Swain below the right knee and he collapsed. The ground staff was immediately asked to stop work and Swain was taken out of the ground.

What caught the eye was that even as Swain lay on the ground, no one other than Sachin Tendulkar and, sometime later, fielding coach Robin Singh, went up to check why he had gone down.

Two days after twisting his ankle, Tendulkar looked much better on Friday. He joined proceedings a little late and first had a longish chat with Shastri; the former all-rounder, bat in hand, was seen demonstrating to the Little Master something about coming on to the front foot.

Tendulkar then spent some time briskly walking around and followed that up with a 45-minute knocking session.

Fielding practice was spread over three patches of the ground, and those closest to the media were under physical trainer Gregory King.

A pick-up and throw exercise was in progress only if it had been done at the pace it should have been, it would have served as a barometer of fitness. But the lack of it made for a boring sight.

The second group under Robin Singh was practising catching and ground fielding. Not surprisingly, knowing the work ethic of this former India all-rounder and the effort he used to put in the field, there were no let-offs. It was quite intensive and all through it, the players had to be on their toes, literally.

The third group worked with Shastri. It was a multi-ball exercise with tennis balls, aimed at improving reflexes.

The day was rounded off with a session of yoga and all eyes were on Ramesh Powar, probably the least athletic-looking of the lot.

He did quite well actually, with some help from Sukhdev Kumar, the Singapore-based expert.

Sukhdev, who has been flown in for the camp, had a long session with Tendulkar in the morning and took the master batsman through various exercises aimed at stretching his back muscles.