Rohit Sharma focuses on Mukesh Kumar during net session, Ravindra Jadeja goes full tilt | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: With Prasidh Krishna having a forgettable Test debut in Centurion, the focus was on the other pacer Mukesh Kumar at Team India’s optional training session at the Supersport Park on Saturday.
After the heavy defeat in the opening game, skipping the session was unsurprisingly not an option as the players had an intense two-hour training.
Skipper Rohit Sharma, who was undone by Proteas pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada twice in the first Test faced Mukesh majorly during the session — for at least 45 minutes.
While the fit-again Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin also bowled in the same nets, the Indian skipper’s complete attention was on the one Test old Bengal seamer. Occasionally, Dayanand Garani, the throwdown specialist kept his deliveries fast and full on off stump channel.
He actually wanted Mukesh to bowl one that comes in with the angle from length.
“Hawa mein andaar aa raha hai. Par koshish kar angle se andar laane ka,” the skipper told his younger colleague.
Rohit specifically wanted Mukesh to pitch in between 4-6 metre length and the seamer seemed to have impressed the skipper. There were times when he beat Rohit’s bat and earned appreciation from the senior pro.
When batting coach Vikram Rathour asked him, “Tu is net pe aayega” (would you like to use this one), pointing at the nets exclusively kept for throwdowns, the skipper replied: “Nahi yehin pe aur 10 minute bat karoonga” (No I will bat here for another 10 minutes).
The skipper devoted extra time for Mukesh and it seemed he was giving tips on wrist position and the length that he needs to hit on a regular basis.
Mukesh has been consistently playing domestic cricket and is one of the biggest reasons for Bengal featuring in two Ranji Trophv finals in three years.
On the day, he did ask a few probing questions of the Indian captain and certainly made a case for himself for the Newlands game.
Mhambrey works on Prasidh’s length
It will be a huge surprise if Prasidh, after his woeful debut, gets a chance to play in the next Test.
Far from being Test match ready, it was time for him to get back to the drawing board.
Prasidh didn’t bowl to any batters at the nets as the lanky man from Bengaluru sought to figure out what’s the right length to hit in South African conditions.
Bowling coach Paras Mhambrey paid singular attention to Prasidh during the 75 odd minutes that he bowled at the nets.
Mhambrey kept three lengths for the pacer.
First, two horizontal blue strips on 10 metre length (short), then two red chip type on 6-8 metre length (back of length) and two parallel yellow strips on good length (around 4 metre).
Prasidh was asked to hit each of those lengths on a regular basis.
He wasn’t always successful and it was evident that he is not ready for the big test yet.
Jadeja looked fully fit
Ravindra Jadeja looked completely fit as he bowled and batted comfortably for a considerable amount of time, allaying fears about whether he can take part in the must-win second Test.
Jadeja bowled for close to 45 minutes alongside Ashwin. He seemed to be bowling quick as he made Rohit defend a few deliveries hurriedly.
While batting, he looked nice and upright while playing some punchy drives.
Shardul injury scare, Jaiswal scratchy
Shardul Thakur while batting got a nasty hit on the left shoulder while facing throwdowns from fielding coach T Dilip.
While he completed the session, he was seen wearing an ice pack sling to lessen the bruise.
He might not need scans as it was learnt that it’s not very serious but it will be interesting to see how long the pain takes to subside.

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Meanwhile, Yashasvi Jaiswal looked a bit scratchy and at times seemed annoyed, loudly admonishing himself after being beaten once.
At another time, he couldn’t deal with Raghu’s searing pace while facing throwdowns as the bat came down late and the stumps went for a toss.
His closest competitor Abhimanyu Easwaran looked better in the nets but he is unlikely to pip Jaiswal to the opening slot.
(With inputs from PTI)


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