Indians return to training after break

Having rested for two days after their satisfying win against South Africa on Sunday, the Indian cricketers hit the ground here at the WACA for a short practice session that was restricted to sharpening their fielding skills and a light game of football.

With the city boiling in high temperatures, the Indian team decided to postpone its training by an hour to 3.30 pm local time but, not surprisingly, there was no information about the changed schedule to the media personnel who had begun to gather at the venue from 1.30 pm onwards itself.

With lengthy gaps between matches in this World Cup, India have opted to train only on alternate days to keep themselves fresh and on Wednesday they even skipped batting and bowling. India, who play the UAE here on Saturday, warmed up with some stretching and then were put through fielding routines – high and slip catching, tennis-ball catching and pick-up-and-throw drill.

To add a touch of competitiveness and fun to the proceedings, the players were divided into two groups; one side comprising largely the batsmen and the other mostly the bowlers. Each team was encouraged to hit the same set of stumps after picking up the balls relayed to them simultaneously. The batsmen’s group -- consisting of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Stuart Binny among others -- beat the bowlers comprehensively, managing to hit the target about half a dozen times.

Kohli, obviously, wasn’t going to miss the opportunity and made fun of the ‘losing’ group and even dragged Dhawan to join him in the act. The two-hour session saw plenty of banter and leg-pulling between the players – a sign of a happy unit perhaps. 

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