Mohali: With India opting for a five-bowler strategy, the tail-enders today underwent an intensive batting session at the nets ahead of the first cricket Test against South Africa beginning on Thursday. The morning practice saw Varun Aaron taking the middle net as Indian pacers and local boys hurled deliveries after deliveries to the focussed right-hand batsman. Soon Umesh Yadav replaced Aaron and spent a considerable amount of time against the medium pacers. The pace duo’s batting also indicated that the two are in line to find a place in the playing XI for Thursday’s game. SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 2015, 1st Test at Mohali
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also got some good amount of batting practice and looks certain to play in the opening Test. Top-order batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara went through the usual grind, facing pacers and spinners. Skipper Virat Kohli was seen practicing hard against the short ball, preparing to take on the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Virat Kohli: Ravichandran Ashwin has been the go to man in Test cricket
Kohli also had two fairly long interactions with Team Director Ravi Shastri, mulling the strategy. If physiotherapist Patrick Farhart was just a call away for every player, bowling coach Bharat Arun and assistant coach Sanjay Bangar were also seen involved with every member of the side. Pace spearhead Ishant Sharma, who will be serving his one-match ban for his conduct in Sri Lanka, might not be playing this game but that did not stop the lanky pacer from playing mentor to every bowler.
Ishant not only bowled his heart out to every batsman but was also seen interacting with every bowler in the net session. The spin force of Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Jadeja were also on their job, one again indicating the trio’s presence in the first game of the series.
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