India get down to business in Lanka

India get down to business in Lanka

Dravid set to re-assume number three position

The Indian players meant business as, soon after their arrival late in the afternoon, the entire squad headed to the Premadasa stadium and was involved in a high-intensity session for over two hours under lights. Even the five members of the squad – Yuvraj Singh, skipper MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, RP Singh and Suresh Raina – who were part of the BCCI Corporate Trophy day-night final on Tuesday in Bangalore sweated it out along with other team-mates. 

“It was good to get out and get some practice today. We were a bit nervous because of the flight delay, but we are happy to squeeze in a couple of hours’ session,” said India coach Gary Kirsten after the team’s work-out on Wednesday.  

Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir opened the net session and while the former faced India bowlers Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra, the Delhi batsman batted to a set of local bowlers.

Once Gambhir was done, Dravid walked in to bat even as Tendulkar extended his batting session. After warming up against local bowlers, the Bangalorean replaced Tendulkar and essayed some long hits, some of them even landing into the high stands. Big hitting, in fact, was the order of the day as Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and later Dinesh Kaarthick and Yusuf Pathan joined the party.

After their batting stints, both Tendulkar and Dravid, in that order, were given some slip-catch practice suggesting that the two men with softer hands in the side may man the position in the early stages of the innings. Terming Dravid a quality player Kirsten said: “He is a kind of player the team will always be happy to have. I am happy, the team is happy and it’s good to have an experienced guy like him around.”

The South African stressed the need for the players find intensity as soon as possible. “Our focus has heavily been on preparations. We are obviously coming off a long break and it’s important for us to hit the intensity straightaway. We are up against New Zealand in the opening match. We know they are a quality side and we have put our best foot forward against them,” remarked Kirsten.

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