First day, first glow for Team India at Brabourne

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh missed the session as his flight from Chandigarh was delayed by two and a half hours.

Indian cricketers play football during a practice session at Brabourne Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK.

Coach Duncan Fletcher, who did not witness any warm-up matches against England or the Ranji Trophy openers, where several India internationals slugged it out to get in the groove for the four-Test series against England starting November 15, came with a set plan.

After little warm-up and a game of football, India’s top and middle order batsmen padded up for a net session.

Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted for nearly an hour. Yuvraj, who is making a return to Test cricket after being treated for cancer last year, looked as solid as ever in the nets. Former India stumper and chief selector Kiran More, who was at CCI, remarked: “He looks more fitter and determined than ever.”

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara and Sachin Tendulkar occupied the four nets, facing variety from the bowling attack.

Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan initially resisted from having a go at the batters, raising further concerns about his fitness. But the left-arm pacer, who had walked away without completing his over┬áduring Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy opener against Railways last week, dispelled all concerns by bowling nearly 30 deliveries in the nets.

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