Melbourne: They're not expected to kick the football around like professionals, but some members of India's world champion cricket outfit desperately need a crash course in football.

Virat Kohli controls the ball during a practice session at Junction Oval in St Kilda, Melbourne yesterday. Pic/Suman Chattopadhyay
Virat Kohli controls the ball during a practice session at Junction Oval in St Kilda, Melbourne yesterday. Pic/Suman Chattopadhyay 

Besides skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his deputy Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu, most of India's cricketers struggle when they try to negotiate the bigger ball, as compared to the cherry they handle with ease. And yesterday afternoon's training session at the Junction Oval here was yet another round of football funnies.

Having returned to training for the first time since Sunday's decimation of Pakistan in their World Cup opener, the Men in Blue began their practice drills at the St Kilda Cricket Club's ground here with a game of football.

Two teams of nine members each were quickly picked. Dhoni, Kohli, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Rohit Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and coach Sanjay Bangar formed Team One. Rayudu, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav and trainer Sudarshan formed the second team.

In the hour-long encounter, Dhoni, Kohli and Rayudu looked particularly impressive. The captain and vice captain combined beautifully to create some great moves upfront with Stuart Binny, who was no pushover either.

Rayudu, meanwhile, having been resigned to a team that seemed comparatively weaker, could do little as his team conceded goals thick and fast.