Indian batsman starts training with tennis balls to get a feel of the fast Australian pitches.
Most of the players in the current 25-man touring party in Australia competed in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE where pitches were slow with less carrying and bounce.
While the first day’s training session was mostly about gym and running workouts, the players were seen hitting the straps right away Down Under with KL Rahul spending considerable time in perfecting his pull-shots with deliveries hurled from 18 yards by Ravichandran Ashwin in the nets.
Rahul was trying to keep the pull shot down, an art his skipper Viat Kohli has mastered over the years, rolling his wrists.
During the ’80s and ’90s before a tour of Australia or West Indies, the specialist batsmen were known to bat against wet tennis balls from 16 or 18 yards on cement wickets to get adjusted to the bounce.
With training modules undergoing a sea change, now the tennis racquets are used to add more pace to the light tennis balls.
Team’s senior speedster Mohammed Shami also posted a video on his personal Twitter handle, where he was seen bowling with the pink kookaburra ball.
“There is no better feeling than to play for your country. A long wait to bowl in the #TeamIndia nets finally ended today! Looking forward to our Australian tour,” Shami tweeted.
That will be followed by as many T20s before the first of the four-match Test series begins at the Adelaide Oval on December 17.
Regular skipper Kohli will return home after the pink-ball day/night Test in Adelaide to be with his wife Anushka Sharma as the first family of Indian cricket are expecting the birth of their first child in January. Ajinkya Rahane will take over the captaincy for the remaining three Tests.