4th Test: The Pakistan hand in India’s SCG nets session
Among those to bowl at Virat Kohli at the SCG nets were three Pakistanis. © AFP

India‘s preparations for the ongoing fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground included extensive batting during trainig with a distinct Pakistan flavour to it in the form of three net bowlers.

The trio of Salman Irshad, Haris Rauf and Abbas Baloch were among those to roll their arms over and bowl to Virat Kohli  and his India team-mates at the SCG last week. This owed to advice from an Indian-Australian coach, Sanjiv Dubey, who is a friend of India batting coach Sanjay Bangar.

“I didn’t have anything to do directly with the team but this was an outside support which I could help the team”, Dubey, who runs a professional cricket academy in Sydney, told The Pakistan Observer. “Professional teams prepare as close to what is expected on the match day, and Harris and Salman who bowl consistently above 145kms per hour was something Virat and co. would have appreciated.” (LIVE UPDATES: INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, DAY FOUR)

Rauf and Irshad play their cricket in Pakistan professionally and are set to represent Lahore Qalandars team in this season’s Pakistan Super League.

“It was a life-time opportunity for our bowlers to bowl at Virat Kohli,” said Sameen Rana, the Lahore Qalandars chief.

Baloch, born in Pakistan but who now plays professional cricket in Australia, was hired to bowl like Mitchell Starc to India’s batsmen. “To emulate Mitchell Strac, I bowled at the nets”, the 29-year-old said. “Kohli and Ravi Shastri, who were watching our bowling from the opposite ends appreciated our efforts. I was honoured and it was my pleasure and dream came true to bowl at Kohli.”