Team director Ravi Shastri plays coach as India hit ground running

  • Somshuvra Laha, Hindustan Times, Dhaka
  • Updated: Jun 09, 2015 02:33 IST

The buzz around the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur showed how things have changed drastically. Only last year, stand-in captain Suresh Raina had landed with a weak side that swept aside Bangladesh 2-0 in a three-match ODI series. This time, not only has a full strength team arrived but the players also got down to training within five hours of arrival.

What could be a minor glitch is that India have essentially given themselves just one day to get used to the Fatullah ground, where the Test starts on Wednesday. Apart from that, they looked to be shaping up fine for the Test. The weather too didn’t seem to bother the team much.“After what we have faced in Kolkata (during the two-day camp) this actually feels better,” said wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

After a light workout with a set of field props, one of which Harbhajan Singh used to practice stick fighting moves, the team did some stretching and played a short game of football.

A day after saying that if need be, he will double up as head coach, Ravi Shastri walked up to some players, offering advice. This was after he sat down close to the nets and watched some of the batsmen knock for about 20 minutes. Batsmen occupied three nets, divided between spinners, pacers, and for throwdowns.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who was playing county cricket less than a month back, was seen having an extensive chat with Shastri. The exercise was repeated with Ajinkya Rahane, Varun Aaron, Murali Vijay, and Virat Kohli.

That spin could be a big option against Bangladesh was evident in the way Harbhajan and Ashwin bowled in tandem at the nets for a long time. Even leg-spinner Karn Sharma was given a decent workout.

The fielding hasn’t been great of late. May be because of that, there was extra emphasis given to close-in fielding. For almost 30 minutes, Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, and Vijay took turns between lobbing the ball at the batsman and fielding at silly point and short-leg.

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