Keeping it short and sweep

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Nov 2017 11:07:26


Nov 13,


India focus on reverse sweep, short balls

FACING short balls and playing reverse sweeps against spinners were the highlights of Indian team’s training session as they geared up for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka. The Indian team support staff was seen giving throwdowns of short pitch deliveries as the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli warmed up for their first training session ahead of the Eden Gardens Test here on November 16.

Rahane was the longest to take the throwdowns that went on for about half an hour. He was seen tested by short-pitch stuff, an indication of what lies in store for the India team when they go for a two-month long tour to South Africa, which will comprise three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is.At the nets, India followed their batting order with Rahul and Dhawan setting the tone, facing alternate spin and pace bowling.

While the Indian left-right handed duo mainly played in the Vs with occasional reverse sweep, middle-order batsman
Rahane’s stint at the nets was peppered with the unorthodox shot to the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav, hinting their strategy against Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan. Hours after landing, skipper Kohli was seen in full flow during the two-and-half-hour practice. He started off with a few drills like stretching, one-legged jump.

Kohli also took the throwdowns and faced some short-pitched deliveries before heading to the nets, where he too approached spinners with the reverse sweep shot. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha however chose to play it down, saying, “It’s how you react to a particular ball. It’s not that we have planned differently for a particular bowler. There’s no compulsory shot like that.” The Saurashtra duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja—who played in the last round match against Gujarat that ended on Sunday—opted to rest on Monday.“They are here but will come for training tomorrow,” a team official said. Later Rohit Sharma, who had scored his ODI world record 264 runs here three years ago, inspected the pitch. Even Rahane and coach Ravi Shastri had a look at the strip individually.

Lanka inspect pitch on a rest day

SRI Lanka support staff along with their skipper Dinesh Chandimal came for pitch inspection despite the team getting an off-day after their warm-up game against Board President’s XI. A five-member Lankan team comprising head coach Nic Pothas, batting coach Thilan Samaraweera and bowling consultant Rumesh Ratnayake and team manager Asanka Gurusinghe were seen on the sidelines of India’s practice session in the afternoon.

They headed straight to the covered wicket to have a close look at the strip and later were seen engaged exchanging
notes with curator Sujan Mukherjee.The Lankans, who played a two-day practice match at the Board President’s XI that ended in a draw at the Jadavpur University second campus ground in Saltlake, however did not opt for training.In their first tour since 2009, Sri Lanka will play three Tests beginning November 16.

SA tour in mind, India likely to field 3 pacers


Nov 13,


THE Indian team management is likely to field three front-line pacers in the first Test against Sri Lanka, keeping in mind the upcoming South Africa tour. It has been learnt that the Indian team management wants tracks that are hard and bouncy without any major grass covering for all three home Tests—something they will be getting in South Africa. Keeping that in mind, the grass cover was removed by the Eden Gardens groundsmen on Monday.

As India will have to go in with three specialist speedsters in South Africa, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will be complemented by either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Ishant Sharma. Ishant led Delhi in three Ranji Trophy games this season, and more importantly, bowled really well in all the matches. His back of the length bowling on hard tracks can be useful. Similarly, Bhuvneshwar can be very useful considering the swing on offer during the early morning and post-tea session at the Eden Gardens.The two specialist spinners are likely to be R Ashwin and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.

Ashwin was seen practising a lot of wrong ‘uns while using the grip of a leg-break bowler.On the other hand, skipper Virat Kohli was seen facing reverse swing throwdowns against a customised red and yellow ball.These balls are specially designed so that batsmen can practice against reverse swing.One part of the seam is yellow coloured and the other is red. Normally, the throwdown expert tries to reverse it at a fast pace from 16 or 18 yards. Sachin Tendulkar used to practice a lot with these balls during the last part of his career. This practice is also common with a lot of Ranji teams including Delhi.