Johannesburg, Dec 4: Indian captain MS Dhoni sprung a surprise yesterday as he underwent batting practice at the nets here with red Kookaburra balls just two days before the start of the three-match ODI series against South Africa which will use white balls.
Dhoni's surprise move to face red Kookaburra balls at the fag end of the Indian team's second practice session after arriving here left one wonder whether he was thinking of the Test series after the ODI contest or was it an exercise to address his weakness against the moving quick ball.
In the beginning of the net session, Dhoni faced the Indian quicks, spinners, net bowlers and throwdowns from fielding coach Trevor Penney. Just when everybody thought the pracrtice session has ended, Dhoni padded up again. Behind his net at the Wanderers stood coach Duncan Fletcher and C M Dhananjay, the teams analyst, was asked to bring a camera.
But the surprise came when the red Kookaburras were brought out. Two days before the first ODI of the tour here on Thursday, Dhoni spent half an hour facing the red Kookaburras from Dhananjay and Penney's throw-downs.
Fletcher was seen to be having in constant conversation with Dhoni from behind the net. It may also seem to be an exercise in moving forward to cover some of the late movement as he has had a weakness against the moving quick ball when he plays with hard hands outside off.