The Indian cricket team attempted a previously unseen training exercise that vaguely resembled a wrestling match on Thursday. Two players seemed to outdo each other.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the first to arrive on the nets for the training session, and he was being put on a fitness test two days before the Boxing Day test began in holy Melbourne when he ran between the gates with a bat on his hand at the 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 thigh injury during the first T20I.
Pacer T Natarajan, one of the tour’s finds, threw himself well into the nets and often managed to hit the outside edge of the two replacement skippers Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.
KL Rahul, who was supposed to play against a high-profile Australian team in the second test, had a long hit in the nets, as did Rishabh Pant. When the players were busy on the nets after warming up, Indian think tank head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and punch coach Vikram Rathour exchanged notes from training.
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 flew back to India for the birth of his child.
Shastri was seen arguing something with Rahul after the batsman’s net session, and Prithvi Shaw, who is going through a lean period, was also seen hitting the net against the likes of Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.
Under the supervision of head coach Justin Langer, the star batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne also experienced an intensive net session at the MCG, during which the former Sri Lankan off-spinner Suraj Randiv played bowling at the other end.
India are 1-0 behind the hosts after losing to the hosts with eight wickets in the first day / night test in Adelaide, where visitors collapsed to a record 36 in their second inning.