Teams get back to business

Barring VVS Laxman, nursing a sore back, and Pragyan Ojha, the rest of the Indian contingent had a full-fledged practice session for close to three hours in the afternoon while Australia chose to have an optional session at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday morning.

After a light stretching and a fun-filled game of football, the Indians were put through a round of ground fielding and catching routines. Both the Indian and Australian catching during the Mohali Test was sub-standard. 

Murali Vijay, who will be opening the innings in the second Test in the absence of the injured Gautam Gambhir, started the ‘nets’ with Virender Sehwag while Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar had throw-downs, in tune with the team’s batting order. Tendulkar also kept an eye on Suresh Raina and demonstrated how to handle the short ball.

From the Australian camp, pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson and openers Simon Katich and Shane Watson remained in the comfort of their hotel rooms.
“We had an optional net session today. Probably half the team came here today. The boys are in good spirits. Some of the guys, particularly the fast bowlers, are trying to recover after a tough match in Mohali. The focus is on recovery but we have to keep our skills in good shape as well,” pointed out Michael Hussey.

There are, Hussey said, doubts over the availability of Bollinger, who went off the field on the final day of the first Test with an abdominal injury. “I am not 100 percent sure. He went for a scan yesterday. It looks a minor strain. We are hopeful he will be ok. But we see how he bowls at the nets tomorrow,” he said.

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