Coach Duncan Fletcher’s instructions to the batsmen on Day Two of India’s practice session at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday seemed to centre around on staying at the wicket. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli made conscious efforts to play shots along the ground.
Though Sehwag, who suffered a finger injury during the Ranji Trophy match for Delhi, showed no signs of discomfort, the Nawab of Najafgarh found it a touch difficult to handle pacer Umesh Yadav’s deliveries. After his one-hour stint in the middle, Sehwag was seen exchanging notes with Fletcher.
Harbhajan Singh, who missed the opening day of the practice session due to a delayed flight, had a fruitful session on Saturday in the lead up to the first Test against England on November 15. Where the pacers were concerned, apart from Umesh Yadav, who bowled his heart out, pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma appeared below their best.
Zaheer, who limped off from Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy opener against Railways last week, warmed-up for nearly half an hour before bowling for about 20 minutes. His approach was understandably cautious in the beginning. He had another half-an-hour session after the lunch break where he looked to get into rhythm.
Though a few deliveries moving away from the batsman were a treat to watch, Zaheer’s stint wasn’t fully convincing. Towards the end of the day, he had a good session with the bat. Ishant, who recently recovered from an ankle injury, bowled at good pace, but struggled with his follow-through.
Junior Tendulkar, a big Yuvi fan?
Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun seems to be a Yuvraj Singh fan. Tendulkar Jr, who was with the Indian team during their practice session on Saturday, stood behind the wicket to observe Yuvraj’s batting while his batting maestro father slugged it out nearby. Arjun, like Yuvraj, is a left hander.
Young ’keeper goes the Mahi way
IT was a memorable day for local lad Ambrika Yadav, who got some useful wicketkeeping tips from India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday.
“He told me how to stand to medium pacers and fast bowlers. He also helped me with the balance,” said Yadav.