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ICC World Cup: South Africa draw from Kirsten's India experience

Melbourne: The Indian cricket team sweated out at the nets today ahead of its Sunday's World Cup clash against South Africa, who are drawing on the deep insight of Gary Kirsten, India's former coach, to prepare for the tie.

Gary Kirsten. Pic/AFP
Gary Kirsten. Pic/AFP 

Kirsten, who was India's coach from 2008 to 2011, has been roped in as a consultant for the World Cup along with former Australian batsman Michael Hussey and pace legend Allan Donald. The trio has a combined experience worth 26,845 runs and 602 wickets at the international level.

The runs are what Kirsten and Hussey have scored at the international level across formats, while the wickets are Donald's collection during his 12 years in international cricket. The three were seen keeping a hawk eye on the proceedings during South African team's training session at the St Kilda's Oval Junction ground.

The Indians, on the other hand, had a strenuous session at the same ground after a couple of days' rest following their morale-boosting victory over arch-rivals Pakistan. However, doubts over Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness continue to be a concern for the team as the seamer looked far from convincing during the nets.

Bhuvneshwar, who had suffered an ankle injury before the start of the Test series against Australia and only played the last Test in Sydney where he bowled way below his best, looked out of sorts and unfit today.

Meanwhile, Hussey, who would again be playing in the eighth edition of IPL for Chennai Super Kings, was keeping a close eye on the South African batsmen, especially the likes of JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock as they were playing the spinners at the nets. Meanwhile, South Africa's fast bowler Dale Steyn missed training today due to flu, but is expected to be fit for the World Cup match against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The paceman bowled just seven overs in South Africa's first warm-up match against Sri Lanka and was rested for the second game against hosts New Zealand. He was suffering from a sore throat and blocked nose during their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe, where he returned with unimpressive figures of one for 64 from nine
overs.

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