After Viru, it's Irfan's turn for a kindle! | india | Hindustan Times
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After Viru, it's Irfan's turn for a kindle!

Sports psychologist Webster had a one-on-one session with India's frontline bowler.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 18:01 IST

Just how vital Irfan Pathan is to the current Indian side was evident at the Police Recreation Ground on Wednesday.

Minutes after the two-day practice match against Antigua and Barbuda ended, Pathan was back in the middle, along with the team brains trust, coach Greg Chappell, sports scientist Ian Fraser, trainer Gregory King and sports psychologist Rudi Webster. Captain Rahul Dravid was not present initially, he was talking to the rather large Indian media contingent, but made his way there immediately after that.

For nearly an hour, Pathan trundled away, bowling at a single stump with Webster advising him at the bowler's end and Chappell assessing the length at the other end.

For the last week, both Dravid and Chappell have been saying that the Indian bowlers have been failing to hit the right areas, and hitting it consistently. Pathan, in particular, is having a rough patch. Especially worrying was his poor spell in the practice game, when he went for 70 in 12 overs.

Pathan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have contributed significantly to the India's successful run in the past year. Both had a slump during the one-dayers, but Dhoni appears to be coming out of it, with his unbeaten 50 in the fourth one-dayer and now his unhurried 60 at the practice game.

Webster, who has been with the team for a week now, had a one-on-one session with Sehwag, the evening before the final one-dayer at Port of Spain. The result of that was a 95 from the Delhi opener, which almost gave India a win. Will Webster have a similar impact on Pathan on the eve of the first Test? Dravid and Chappell, and all of India, will certainly hope so.