Cricket

Australia vs India | Indians get to grips with tackling Aussie menace


Team India came up with a new training drill on Thursday that saw players pairing off and working out as if participating in a wrestling bout.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the first to arrive for the training session and was put through a fitness test, running between the wickets with bat in hand.

Jadeja, who has 213 wickets and 1,869 runs in 49 Tests, missed the final two Twenty20 Internationals and the first Test due to a concussion and a hamstring injury and will be eager to play the Boxing Day Test at the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground.

One of the tour’s finds, pacer T. Natarajan bent his back at the nets and often managed to beat stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Set to play in the second Test against an in-form Australian team, K.L. Rahul had a long hit at the nets, and so did Rishabh Pant.

As the players got busy at the nets after warming up, the coaching staff — chief coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and batting coach Vikram Rathour — were seen exchanging notes from the practice session.

They also had a long chat with Rahane, who will lead the team in the remaining three Tests in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has flown back to India for the birth of his child. Shastri was also seen in discussion with Rahul after the batsman’s session.

Prithvi Shaw, who is going through a lean patch, had a long workout with Kuldeep Yadav backing him up.

Meanwhile, watched by head coach Justin Langer, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne had an intense session, with former Sri Lanka off-spinner Suraj Randiv bowling to them.

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