India has first full training session in South Africa; Dravid gives Kohli batting tips

The Indian cricket team had its first full training session here in almost a week, when captain Virat Kohli and head coach Rahul Dravid arranged their players at SuperSport Park, where the latter gave tips to key players.

India will host South Africa in a three-Test series starting here on December 26 (Boxing Day), hoping to win their first series victory in the game’s longest format here. But without any warm-up match due to the tight schedule, the team will have to quickly adapt to the pitches and also acclimatize to the altitude. The room is at an altitude of 1400 meters.

On Sunday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a video of Team India being escorted in two buses by police cars to SuperSport Park, where they were seen being led down to the ground by Dravid and Kohli, followed by Ravichandran Ashwin , on Saturday.

Also read | We know something special in South Africa this time: Kohli

The team had a warm-up session where they jogged and stretched a bit before getting started. Kohli was seen receiving batting tips from Dravid, with pacer Jasprit Bumrah – who returned to play test cricket after being rested for the two-Test series against New Zealand – with full tilt on the nets.

Mohammed Shami, Ashwin and veteran pacer Ishant Sharma also bowled in the nets, with the captain finally leaving the ground after the session, giving a thumbs up to the players as he hurriedly came out with a huge kit bag dragged on his back.

After posting the video, the Indian cricket board tweeted: “Get test match ready. Excerpt from #TeamIndia’s first training session ahead of the first #SAvIND test.”

On Saturday, BCCI had posted a video of the players going for a light workout, which included a game of foot volleyball.

India’s strength and fitness coach, Soham Desai, had stressed that after three days of harsh quarantine in Mumbai, it would have been “high risk” to start a skills session immediately, which is why the team had an easy session on Friday night.

Desai also said his main task would be to bring the players to top condition after three days of tough quarantine in Mumbai, followed by a 10-hour trip to Johannesburg and then another day of tough quarantine in South Africa.

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