Preparatory camp set to begin today

Preparatory camp set to begin today

Cricket: Chance for Kirsten, Dhoni to get flock together ahead of tough tours

The members of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side, which will be involved in a tri-series (Sept 8-14) in Colombo with the hosts and New Zealand followed by the Champions Trophy (Sept 22-Oct 5) in South Africa, trooped into the city on Wednesday in batches, the early arrivals including Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina among others.

The players will begin their preparations on Thursday afternoon under the supervision of coach Gary Kirsten, mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton and newly appointed trainer Ramji Srinivasan. Kirsten and Upton are expected to join the team ahead of Thursday’s morning session at the hotel. The players will then attend an afternoon fitness session at the NCA, after which they are scheduled to attend the launch of Corporate Trophy tournament.

There is also a proposal for a one-day stint at a defence establishment where the players will undergo army training techniques.

Kirsten and Upton had put the players through fitness tests in Delhi and Mumbai earlier this month. “We had sprint sessions 10-15 days ago. We are looking fit now and looking forward to meeting the guys,” said Yuvraj.

Besides the tri-series and the Champions Trophy, some members of the team will be involved in almost non-stop action as the Champions League T20 tournament begins almost immediately after the Champions Trophy.

Australia will then visit India for a seven-match one-day series, which will be followed by a full series at home against Sri Lanka.

Before the team leaves Indian shores for Sri Lanka, most of the players will be involved in the BCCI’s Corporate Trophy 50-over tournament from Sept 1-8.

The team: MS Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Amit Mishra, Dinesh Kaarthick and Abhishek Nayar.