Millennium Post

MS skips FINAL net session

Indian team on Monday wound up their three-day training camp ahead of their Test series against Australia starting later this week, with a two-and-a-half-hour long net session with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni deciding to oversee it rather than actually taking part in it.

While all the top Indian batsmen and bowlers gave their best shot on the final day of the camp at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Dhoni neither batted nor kept wickets during the net session, which was focussed mainly on batting and bowling. Dhoni was seen having conversation with other team members while the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Cheteshwar Pujara all laboured during the session.

In contrast to the first two days, the Indian team solely focussed on batting and bowling. In the first two days, the team had two hectic sessions in a day, but on Monday they had only one in the afternoon. The players arrived at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) around 3 pm and straightaway they headed for the nets.

By watching all the top batsmen like Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Virender Sehwag and Pujara bat at the nets, it looked like the Indian support staff laid emphasis on playing straight in the 'V'. Even if there were shots to be played, they hammered it with the straight bat.

At a time, three batsmen played at three nets having different wickets, facing a mix of fast and spin bowlers like Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin.

Interestingly, Tendulkar batted for 45 minutes with three different bats and facing these bowlers at different nets. Harbhajan batted for nearly one hour and rolled his arms only at the fag end of the session.

Even tailenders Ojha, Dinda and Ishant had a fair bit of time batting at the nets. All-rounder Bhuvneshwar Kumar faced 'throwdowns' from net bowlers.  India will leave for Chennai on Tuesday for the first Test starting February 22.
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