England tour of India - Cricket: Indians have strenuous workout under lights

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata: With just three days left for the six-match Limited Overs series to get underway, both the Indian and England cricket teams had strenuous workouts at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.While the visitors had a three-hour workout following the same training pattern seen in the last few days, the Indians had a lengthy session under floodlights to get used to the conditions.The Indian team members, who assembled in the city on Wednesday morning, reached the stadium around 4:00 pm (IST) and immediately got down to business under the watchful eyes of coach John Wright.Physio Andrew Leipus supervised the stretching exercises as all the 14 members of the squad split in small groups to begin the practice session.After the jogging and stretching exercises, the players concentrated on fielding and catching two areas where the Indians need a lot of improvement.Known to bring in innovative ideas in the training programme, coach Wright used a tennis racket to give catching practice to the bowlers.The Indians batted in the nets under the full glow of the floodlights and more or less maintained their usual batting line with captain Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar having a feel of the practice track first. All rounder Virender Sehwag and off spinner Harbhajan Singh joined thepractice session half an hour late.Coach Wright picked up young wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra, who is set tomake his One-day International debut on Saturday, for special attention.The coach spent some time giving him practice to improve his glove work.After the completion of the net session, captain Ganguly and coachWright had a close look at the track prepared for the first One-dayer.The England team, which had its first practice session at the EdenGardens on Tuesday, went through the grind in the afternoon under thesupervision of coach Duncan Fletcher.The English batsmen spent considerable time trying to master the reversesweep apparently to tackle the Indian spinners, who were expected toplay a big role in the series.The team also concentrated in fine-tuning its fielding abilities as theplayers practiced taking blinders and skiers.Young Paul Collingwood, however, did not attend the workout andpreferred to rest in his hotel room after complaining of stomachache.The Durham player had been down with an upset stomach since Tuesdaynight and was under treatment.Star middle order batsman Graham Thorpe was down with a similar problemon Sunday but recovered sufficiently to join the practice the next day.PTI

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