India have commenced their training session after touching down in Southampton for their clash against South Africa on June 5 and the Men in Blue look to start their World Cup campaign with a win over the Proteas.
In Thursday's training session, Indian skipper Virat Kohli was seen trying a hand at bowling, something rare the fans get to witness. A little known fact, Kohli was also a medium pacer in the early parts of his career. He has taken 4 ODI wickets and 4 T20I wickets before he decided to stick with the bat. Take a look.
India's fielding coach R Sridhar set up an interesting session during training and the theme was 'direct hit', making the players hit the wicket from different angles while fielding. Sridhar also disclosed that the players had to keep hitting the wickets if they miss out and at the end, there was one player left who did not hit the wickets and sadly, the fielding coach did not reveal his name. Take a look.
While the drill seemed to be like 'old wine in a new bottle', the players seemed to be enjoying the session, which is the key during a big tournament.
"We had an interesting fielding session today. The theme of the session was direct hit. The focus was on boys getting it right from different angles at the non-striker's end. Initially, we started with a drill called 'Round the Clock', where there were six different fielding positions from where they had to hit the stumps 20 times," Sridhar told bcci.tv after the session.
After a brief session where the fielding coach spoke about the importance of having a "correct arm-path" in order to get the execution right, he arranged for a competition where the 'last man standing' was certainly not the 'best man standing'.
"Then we introduced a game where those who get a successful direct hit is out of the session and those who fail have to come back again and finally there was only one guy who was left in the end. The boys were rolling on the floor laughing," Sridhar said.
The other notable aspect was skipper Virat Kohli trying a bit of off-spin at the nets but the batsmen facing him had no problems dispatching the friendly tweaks.
With no off-spinner in the squad and Kedar Jadhav hardly bowling with his dodgy hamstrings, it seemed like it was more about Indian captain providing a bit of knocking for the other batsmen.
The Men in Blue take on South Africa in their opening match, whereas the latter team, play England in the World Cup opener at the Oval, London. The Virat Kohli led Team India gained confidence after a stellar all-round show against Bangladesh in their second warm-up match.
KL Rahul scored a hundred on coming in at No.4 and a sight for sore eyes was former captain MS Dhoni, who struck a thunderous 78-ball century as well. It was 'vintage' Dhoni against Bangladesh and after the show the veteran put on, all hopes are on him to lead India which could be his last World Cup performance.