Players have two net sessions; Jadeja grinds it out, only spinners called as net bowlers

NAGPUR, Feb 3: Comeback man Ravindra Jadeja bowled a lengthy spell and also batted for a considerable length of time as Indian Test team members had two separate sessions at the Old Civil Lines ground here Friday ahead of four Test series against Australia starting February 9.

Jadeja, who was out of action for close to five months after a knee surgery, recently returned back to competitive cricket with a seven wicket haul against Tamil Nadu in a Ranji Trophy match.

During the first closed door session, Jadeja bowled and batted for a reasonable time as he would like to add miles to his legs in what could be a very physically demanding Test series than most.

Since most of the players save Cheteshwar Pujara, Jaydev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav are coming from white ball games, the team think-tank headed by Rahul Dravid wants each and every player to get enough time during their five days of practice before the commencement of the first Test at the VCA ground in Jamtha.

There was a two and half hour morning session where one batch came for training while the second group came in the afternoon.

With 16 members plus four net bowlers from fringe– namely Rahul Chahar (Rajasthan), Washington Sundar, Ravisrinivas Sai Kishore (both TN) and Saurabh Kumar (UP), it is understood that India are preparing to face a lot of spin bowling from Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.

The spinners who had been summoned are those whose state teams are no longer in the fray for Ranji Trophy semi-final.

The presence of four spinners in the main squad and another four makes a total of eight spinners in the set-up.

While Shreyas Iyer is missing the Test due to back injury, both KL Rahul and Shubman Gill also faced main team bowlers and throwdown in the nets.

Unlike team’s net session before other international games where there are normally three nets (including one for throwdown), there was arrangement for only two during the day as each player was being allotted enough time at the centre net itself.  (PTI)