Lowly India undergoes training ahead of ODI series

Hove (Sussex): Their confidence at an all time low following the 0-4 drubbing in the Test series, the Indian cricket team today went through intense fielding and batting drills ahead of the upcoming ODIs against England starting next month.

The entire ODI outfit, sans injured opener Gautam Gambhir and India`s best player in the Test series Rahul Dravid, attended the morning`s practice session here.

Even though speculations over Gambhir`s availability for the ODI series is all but over following a clear MRI scan report, the left-hander did not come out to practice with his fellow players.

But otherwise, this morning`s practice session was a sight for the sore eyes.

The Indian cricketers were subjected to some intense fielding drills, including catches -- high, low, sharp, spinning, at the boundary edge, running forward and backward.

It was interesting to see the fielders attempting to catch skiers while standing near the ropes and a few of the efforts were truly breath-taking.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not part of this catching drill. However, he gave himself a good stretch with the bat in the nets and so did Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

They faced some decent bowling from Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar, who went flat out at them. India coach Duncan Fletcher witnessed the proceedings from behind the nets with bowling coach Eric Simmons in tow.

Among batsmen, Rohit was the most impressive while Raina was the most brittle, which is hardly surprising since he scored only 105 runs from the four-Test series at an average of 13.12.

Sharma hit massive sixes with utmost ease and one such hit, from an impossible position, drew a handsome clap from Fletcher in appreciation.

Young Ajinkya Rahane and Varun Aaron, who were chosen as replacements for injured Virender Sehwag and Ishant Sharma, were yet to arrive in England.

The venue should lift the besieged Indians for it`s where Kumar Ranjitsinhji spent 14 years and graced the county grounds.

Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Eknath Solkar are the two other prominent names who have had a long association with this county.

The county ground also boasts of a rare museum on Ranjitsinhji which has his bat, blazers and some rare photographs and score-sheeets.

The Indian high commissioner to United Kingdom is officially set to inaugurate the museum on the morning of the match on Thursday.


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