Kapil to help Indian probables hone skills

Published: Sunday, August 31, 2003, 18:59 [IST]
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Bangalore: After nearly a two-week tough-but-enjoyable fitness camp, Indian team probables are assembling here again from Monday to hone their cricketing skills for the demanding season ahead, with focus now shifting to improving performance on- field. Interacting and passing on his valuable tips to fast bowlers during his sessions in the first two days of the six-day preparatory camp that's aimed at tuning-up would be none-other-than legendary cricketer Kapil Dev himself. Besides, the team management has drafted nine medium-pacers - Tinu Yohannan, Srisanth, V R V Singh, Amit Uniyal, Sourav Sarkar, Shabbir Ali, R P Singh, Munaf Patel and Rakesh Patel - to assist the probables at the nets.

The 36 probables who sweated it out under a tough regimen of physical drills at the fitness camp, aimed at getting them into top condition that concluded last Tuesday, would again be gathering here. Joining and catching up with them would be India vice-captain Rahul Dravid, batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, who missed the first camp owing to their engagements with county cricket. "The camp will focus on cricketing skills...Batting and bowling," said coach John Wright who is holding fort along with newly recruited physical trainer Gregory Allen King and physiotherapist Andrew Leipus. "We have a few scores to settle (against New Zealand)," Wright had said earlier, referring to India's 0-2 loss to the Kiwis when Sourav Ganguly and his men toured there last.

The two camps, which are widely welcomed by experts as being a good initiative, are expected to prepare the team for gearing up to challenges. India would play two Tests against New Zealand and a triangular series also involving Australia, followed with a tour down under. Meanwhile, former world billiards champion Geet Sethi and former all England badminton champion Prakash Padukone and yoga guru B K S Iyengar are also slated to interact with the probables at the skill-specific camp. Most of the probables - except for Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra who are recovering from injury and continued to be here working on rehabilitation under the care of Leipus - are expected to arrive here by Sunday evening.

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