Adelaide: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s commitment to the Indian cricket team is unquestionable. And he proved yet again yesterday why he is so respected for leading from the front. Dhoni, who was training with the Indian team on Thursday morning at St Peter’s College’s Main Oval here in Adelaide was required to fly over to Melbourne for the evening’s World Cup opening ceremony attended by the England and Australian teams along with the captains of all the remaining participating sides. He left mid-way through Thursday’s training for that. However, Team India was practising again at the same venue last morning and one would have expected the skipper to miss it considering it was a morning session (10 am) and he was over 700 kms away in Melbourne the previous night. Dhoni, however, turned up for it on time. He came to practice directly from the airport. It is such commitment that will help the world champions retain the trophy.
MS Dhoni bats in the nets at Adelaide yesterday. PIC/AFP
Rahane ambidextrous just like Tendulkar
Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane is known for his elegant strokeplay that can get innovative if required. However, yesterday during a training session at St Peter’s College’s Main Oval, Rahane showed that he has an ace up his sleeve in the fielding department too. During fielding drills, Rahane positioned at point, was receiving cut shots to his right and throwing it back to the stumps, when suddenly one ball came to his left and even as the batsmen (support-staffer hitting the shot) moved to pick up another ball thinking Rahane would let that one pass, the right-handed Mumbaikar bent down to his left, picked up the ball and ripped a throw back — all in a flash with his left hand. This surprised the batter. Interestingly, Rahane’s ambidextrous ability puts him in comparison to another prominent former Mumbai cricketer — Sachin Tendulkar, who could field and throw with both hands too. In fact, Sachin was known to bat left-handed at times in training too, and brilliantly at that.
South Australia expecting windfall
The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) is leaving no stone unturned in promoting the ICC Cricket World Cup and the numbers are nothing short of impressive. According to SATC CEO Rodney Harrex, they have sold a whopping 10,500 World Cup corporate packages in India through their registered travel agents. The packages include flight tickets, World Cup match tickets and optional staying options. The figure excludes those, who will be travelling from India on their own or through unregistered travel agents. “We are expecting a total tourist revenue spend of AUD 31 million in South Australia for this World Cup. An astounding 60,000 visitors will be welcomed here in Adelaide across the tournament,” said Harrex.