Dhoni & Co liven up fielding practice with competitive throwing session on the first day of training at WACA
Perth: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was lavish in his praise for his two frontline bowlers, Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav, who came up with some brilliant outfielding to dismiss South Africans AB de Villiers and David Miller respectively at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Virat Kohli (right), Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (left) during India's fielding session at Perth yesterday. Pics/Suman Chattopadhyay
Dhoni, in his post-match press conference, had stressed on the significance of fielding, saying that it was crucial for his fielders to add around 10-15 runs to a 280-type total. "The run-outs were the turning point of the match for me as those partnerships could have been dangerous.
Throwing from the deep
"I'm very pleased with the run-outs because we usually see the opposition taking on our fast bowlers in the deep. But Mohit and Umesh are quite fast and have good arms," said Dhoni after his men beat the Proteas by a whopping 130-run margin.
It's no wonder that yesterday the Men in Blue engaged only in a fielding practice session on the first day of their training at the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground here ahead of Saturday's cash against minnows United Arab Emirates. The 2pm session was delayed by 90 minutes owing to the scorching heat blazing down on the WACA.
Team India celebrate after knocking down stumps during a training session at the WACA yesterday
However, when the team arrived and headed straight to the confines of the airconditioned changing rooms, it was Dhoni once again, who immediately emerged and led the group out in the sun for their fielding drills. The Men in Blue did no batting or bowling whatsoever.
Fielding coach R Sridhar and assistant coach Sanjay Bangar were seen hammering balls into the distance simultaneously towards two rows of India players, and two players (one from each row) at a time were required to run up, pick the ball and throw it back at the only set of unmanned stumps.
In a fun exercise, the two rows competed against each other with each team getting points for knocking down the stumps. "Tera nahi laga, mera laga (you didn't hit it, I did)," vice-captain Virat Kohli yelled at a player from the other row.
The competition was neck to neck, till Ambati Rayudu knocked down the stumps to give his team a 6-5 victory. The players then headed for some football.