The Indian cricket team attempted a hitherto unseen training drill on Thursday that vaguely resembled a wrestling fight, with a pair of two players seemingly trying to outdo each other. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the first to arrive at the nets for the training session and was subjected to a fitness test while running between the wickets with a bat in his hand two days before the Boxing Day test begins at the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground. Jadeja, who bagged 213 wickets and scored 1,869 runs in 49 Tests, had missed the last two T20Is and the first Test against the hosts due to a concussion and hamstring injury sustained during the first T20I.
T Natarajan, one of the tour’s finds, threw in the nets well and often managed to beat the outer edge of both stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Set to play in the second Test against an in-form Australian team, KL Rahul had a long shot and so was Rishabh Pant.
While the players were busy with the nets after warming up, the Indian think tank – head 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 talk 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 saw something arguing with Rahul after the batsman’s net session and Prithvi Shaw, going through a meager patch, was also seen in the nets against Kuldeep Yadav.
In the Australian camp, star hitters Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne underwent intense net sessions at the MCG, overseen by head coach Justin Langer, while former Sri Lankan off-spinner Suraj Randiv was bowling.
India is behind the rubber of four games 0-1 after an eight wicket defeat to the hosts in the first daytime Test in Adelaide, where the visitors plunged to their record lowest score of 36/9 in the second innings.
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