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WT20: India train barefoot ahead of South Africa semis clash

In an unusual move, MS Dhoni & Co train barefoot ahead of Friday's semi-final clash versus South Africa

Dhaka: Their brilliant form in the World T20 notwithstanding, India are up against South Africa in the semi-finals, and MS Dhoni's men will be tested to the hilt, come Friday.

MS Dhoni (right) and Virat Kohli play football during a training session in Dhaka yesterday. Pics/AFP
MS Dhoni (right) and Virat Kohli play football during a training session in Dhaka yesterday. Pics/AFP 

The mood in the camp is relaxed and that was evident from the practice session which the squad underwent yesterday. They engaged in a game of football. Interestingly, everyone played barefoot, bringing back memories of the days when the great

Mohun Bagan outfit beat an English side (East York) in 1911 to win the IFA shield. Years later, the legendary Sailen Manna left fans at the 1948 London Olympics stunned with the power he packed in his barefooted shots in the football arena.

When Mahendra Singh Dhoni was asked about India's decision to play barefooted yesterday, he replied jokingly: "We don't have money, so we could not buy shoes!" But was the experience discomforting? Dhoni said: "No.

In our childhood days, we all had the experience of playing barefoot soccer." After the game almost all the members of the team put their feet in ice water though.

Yuvraj Singh stretches during the practice session yesterday
Yuvraj Singh stretches during the practice session yesterday

Later, India's media manager Dr RN Baba said that the trainer of the team wanted them to play barefooted. But mid-day learnt from a team source that the team's equipment did not arrive in time, so they had to practice barefoot.

Yuvraj Singh injured

Meanwhile, Yuvraj Singh could be seen limping around with a medicated bandage wrapped around his left foot. When asked whether it was something serious, Yuvraj replied: "No, not really. Aisa chota-mota injury toh aata hi hai (such small injuries occur all the time)."

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