New balls at optional nets please, says Laxman

New balls at optional nets please, says Laxman

The three other Indian players present for the optional nets were all batsmen — Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They all had been practising throwdowns from the support staff but apparently the balls were not new.

Laxman’s query was understandable. With Australia likely to crank up the pace during the Tests and the pitches, with or without grass, containing inherent bounce, the red cherry with lacquer could have offered a better preparation.

It’s a point which is well-supported by Australia, who are presently practising with ‘two-piece’ new balls in order to prepare them better for seaming and swinging deliveries in a three-day batting camp in Melbourne to shape up their batsmen.

Former Australian captain Greg Chappell is also due to address the team and offer insights on the Indians, whom he coached for three years between 2005 and 2007.
Young batsmen such as Phil Hughes are spurning the riches of Big Bash cricket and opting for a low-key three-day practice match against the Indians in order to be ready for the Test battles.

India, on their part, did send seven of their Test specialists almost a week before the rest of the team members arrived on December 14.

They have also squeezed in an extra game as a matter of preparation.  The Indians have their best chance ever to win a series in Australia. It’s a feat which has never been managed by the Indians over nine visits, 36 Tests and 64 years.

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