Centurion: The Indian cricket team is quickly getting into the groove and acclimatising to the Johannesburg climate as it begins its quest to win its maiden Test series in South Africa, commencing at the SuperSport Park on Boxing Day (December 26).
On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted images of the team’s second practice session, with the players seen upping their competitive spirit, indulging in a long practice session — their second so far — and picking chief coach Rahul Dravid’s brains.
With Dravid speaking about the virtues of “quality practice” and “good intensity” in the first training session, his wards showed true intent on Monday with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant seen taking a giant leap to his left to pouch a difficult catch, while Wriddhiman Saha, too, took his stance behind the stumps.
Virat Kohli, mindful of the changing weather at an altitude of 1400 metres, turned out wearing a pullover, with images showing the Test skipper receiving batting tips from Dravid.
Later Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour were seen sharing their inputs with the Indian pace battery including Jasprit Bumrah — who is returning to the side after being rested for the Test series against New Zealand — and Ishant Sharma.
The focus during the three-Test series will be on India’s pace battery and how quickly it can rattle the home team batters, given the likely seaming conditions that will be on offer. And Dravid was seen paying special attention to how Mohd Siraj and Umesh Yadav were bowling in the nets.
On Monday, India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey had said that his players will have to be prepared for bouncy conditions, and they will have to work on their technique in order to hit “the right areas”.
“I think we’ve got to be prepared for such kind of conditions (pace and bounce). When we walked in, we thought it would be sunny. But the moment we turned out at the ground (we got) overcast conditions… it’s always challenging from the bowlers’ perspective as well to kind of hit the right areas. These kinds of conditions we’ll get in the Test match and (we) should be able to exploit those conditions,” Mhambrey had said on Monday.