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Not having a ball with the bat

Perhaps, India have a connection with the local weatherman. Otherwise, their decision not to train on Friday would have been received with a pinch of salt, just like whenever they took a break during the Test series. Amol Karhadkar reports. Worries ahead of Oz challenge

india Updated: Feb 11, 2012 02:07 IST
Amol Karhadkar
indiavsaustralia2011

Virat-Kohli-talks-to-a-teammate-during-a-training-session-at-the-WACA-in-Perth-Australia-will-play-India-in-the-third-test-AP-Photo

Perhaps, India have a connection with the local weatherman. Otherwise, their decision not to train on Friday would have been received with a pinch of salt, just like whenever they took a break during the Test series.

The heavy downpour in the afternoon meant that the team management's decision to call off the optional practice session and give a day off to the squad was justified.

But the rain didn't deny the cricketers from having a good time. While reserve wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel visited a barber, the troika of Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav and Rahul Sharma went on a shopping spree. Later in the evening, a group of cricketers, led by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, joined an acquaintance for
dinner.

However, when the team reassembles at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday, a day ahead of their CB Series encounter against Australia, they will have plenty of areas to work on.

Mauling still fresh

Despite registering a scratchy victory against Sri Lanka at Perth on Wednesday, the mauling by Australia at Melbourne, in the tournament opener last weekend, must be fresh on the minds of Dhoni and his boys.

And if they are to turn the tide and pull off a rare win over the hosts on the tour, the India batsmen will need to work on their shot selection. Most of the specialist batsmenhttp://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/11-02-pg21a.jpg literally threw away their wickets on Wednesday. As a result, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin were left to ensure that India crossed the line.

Dhoni was quick to lament the mediocre shot selection of his teammates during the post-match briefing. "Shot selection," he said, when asked about the areas to work on before the next game. "Overall happy with the performance but the batting department can improve a bit," he said.

The skipper had every right to make his point after the batsmen's faulty stroke-play.

While Virender Sehwag played an awkward upper cut, which landed in third man's hands early on in his innings, Sachin Tendulkar chose to run one, pitched on the stumps, down to third man after looking set for the milestone

century.

Short cut
Soon after, Rohit Sharma chased a wide delivery to allow Tillakaratne Dilshan display his acrobatic skills at point, Suresh Raina and Dhoni perished while trying to score off short balls.

If Raina, who is prone to being dismissed off a short delivery quite frequently, does not find a solution to his problem soon, he may have to forget about being a regular in the side, let alone leading it. It's time to put their heads down and prepare for Sunday's match.