Indian team cancels practice session

Peeking from behind the buttress roots of the grand banyan tree at the IIT Adyar campus, a little spotted deer and its mother looked quizzically at the nearby buzz and activity. Those who attended the ongoing lectures inside the IIT campus left early, while the absentees had already formed a massive circle around the college playground.

They watched professional grounds men quickly prepare four practice pitches for nets, while two buses full of khaki-clad policemen took their positions around the students. Everything was in place for the Indian cricket team’s practice session in the cusp of their college-going supporters, until the team management decided to call it off last minute.

Apart from being a terrible waste of time and public resources, the IITians walked back into their classrooms with dissatisfaction, because of a few late arrivals in India’s Chennai camp. Coach Gary Kirsten had just arrived late this afternoon from Mumbai, while four other players Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh were to arrive only on Wednesday morning. While Mahendra Singh Dhoni has often insisted that one or two practice sessions will not make the team any better, Team India could have done without missing this session, especially since they lost their last game against the South Africans.

Many of the Indian players, such as Gautam Gambhir, required that extra time in the nets to find their strokes and their confidence, while the likes of Yusuf Pathan would’ve used that session in image re-building. The bowlers, in fact, have more work to do. Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel have to work on their death bowling and come up with new tactics, while Ashwin, Sreesanth and Piyush Chawla need to regain the skipper’s confidence. There’s work aplenty, but Team India, on Tuesday, had different ideas.


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