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ICC World Cup: Team India's unusual training for Pakistan's 7-foot Irfan

Adelaide: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfan is unusually tall — at seven-feet-one-inch — and by his own admission, “I’m (much) taller when I wear shoes.” So, Team India have developed a unusual training method to prepare to counter him in Sunday’s crucial World Cup fixture at the Adelaide Oval.

DWARFING ’EM: Mohd Irfan poses for a picture with Pakistani fans during a practice session at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro
DWARFING ’EM: Mohd Irfan poses for a picture with Pakistani fans during a practice session at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro

On Thursday, India batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were seen facing some net bowling from a rather unusual height at St Peter’s College’s Main Oval here.

A couple of the team’s support staffers climbed on stools and threw down the ball, thereby attaining the probably height Irfan would be bowling from.

A member of Team India’s support staff uses a stool to execute throw downs during a training session at  St Peter’s College’s Main Oval in Adelaide on Thursday
A member of Team India’s support staff uses a stool to execute throw downs during a training session at
St Peter’s College’s Main Oval in Adelaide on Thursday

According to a member of Team India’s support staff: “Irfan is around seven foot, and then, there is his jump and arm extension too, so it should all add up to a height of approximately 12 feet from where the ball is delivered. This stool is a little over a foot in height, so we’re probably adding around three to four feet to a regular bowler’s delivery by employing this method.”

'No fitness worries'
Meanwhile, Irfan (32), who was part of the Pakistan team that registered a 2-1 series victory over India on home soil in January 2013, told mid-day yesterday that he’s in great shape ahead of the key clash with the arch-rivals.

“I have no fitness worries whatsoever and I am charged up for the match against India. Can’t wait for Sunday… mazaa aayega (it will be fun),” Irfan said here in between Pakistan’s first practice session at the Adelaide Oval’s indoor training area yesterday before happily moving on to sign autographs for a handful of fans.

Irfan will pose a challenge to India: Dravid
Adelaide:
Rahul Dravid has warned India to beware of Mohammad Irfan, the 7-feet-one-inch tall pacer who can turn the game on his day. “The key player from Pakistan is Mohammad Irfan. Having watched him bowl just recently, I believe he is going to pose a challenge to the Indian batsmen,” Dravid was quoted as saying on ESPNcricinfo.

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