Team India returns to training after rest day

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Sydney, Jan 23 (IANS) Following a rest day, the Indian cricket team returned to practice at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Friday ahead of their third ODI of the tri-series, against Australia here Monday.

Although it was an optional session, almost the entire team came to practice, with only Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin staying back, according to BCCI website.

It was a full-throttle net practice with long batting and bowling sessions.

The first to use the batting nets were Stuart Binny, Axar Patel and Suresh Raina.

Binny started off by facing Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami. Axar, who has had problems with the bat in India’s first two matches, faced the slower bowlers – including captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who sent down some leggies.

Raina batted for about an hour, first taking throwdowns from the support staff members before facing the spinners. He looked aggressive against the faster balls, practicing his on-side play with precision.

Ravindra Jadeja, who is recovering from his shoulder injury, rolled his arm over in the spinners’ net while pacer Ishant Sharma looked very comfortable as he sent down some quick deliveries along with fellow quick Dhawal Kulkarni.

Shikhar Dhawan, who has been woefully short of runs, batted under the close watch of coach Duncan Fletcher against the fast bowlers.

Fletcher observed Dhawan’s feet movement from the short-leg position as the video analyst recorded his time in the nets. After facing the quickies, Dhawan moved to the adjacent net where the slower bowlers were operating.

Dhoni gave up the ball after an hour or so and took stance to face the throwdowns. He then made his way where Ishant and Kulkarni were operating. Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu too had a long stint with the bat.

Except Rohit, who missed the session after missing the MCG ODI due to a sore hamstring, all the players carrying small niggles seem to have recuperated well.

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