Bringing it Together
RCB's training intensity will burst forth in the match against KKR on Thursday, 29th September. Practice goes perfectly on the day prior to it.
The day was filled with excitement. With RCB’s back slightly to the wall, a great position from which to see the talent of our men, the spectators are aching for real excitement. The team left for practice to the main Chinnaswamy stadium ground where they warmed up with a football game. Chris Gayle’s team (not designated captain) was up against Dan Vettori’s. The former contained Mayank who showed his RCB skipper Dan that he truly means business as the relative junior shoved the Kiwi around, feigning a Zidane-like agro from the 2006 world cup! Of course it was all a dramatic farce and a joke in the end, but it’s great to see the kind of team bonding that this unit has got. It’s also a sign of how much of an equality culture Dan Vettori prescribes and of course that he’s always open to teammates’ suggestions.
After a good game that Chris’s side won 2-1, the regular body stretches followed. Next, what else but fielding! Again, Ray and Venky Prasad paired up to hit continuous catches to the fielders who were posted on the boundary-line. The manner of catch-giving was the same as the previous two practice sessions where the coaches either made the fielders run backwards or hit it at a height of about 10 feet from the rope where the fielders had to practice lunging and ‘pull back’ these certain sixes!
The session however, saw one unfortunate incident. AB de Villiers, one among the fielders this time hurt his finger. That was it! The next hour confirmed that AB would take no further part in the tournament. A sad blow but then every franchise is quietly ready for accidents like these. They have no less a man in their pack than Tilakaratne Dilshan who will now scurry to fulfill several roles, of a classy batsman, an off-spin bowler and if necessary a wicket-keeper at some stage.
The team then moved to the National Cricket Academy ground for nets. Virat Kohli was on song straightaway playing his hard drives, while Dirk Nannes decided to stretch himself a bit and tried to bowl some fast stuff. Among other batsmen, Dan Vettori padded up, his distinct stance anticipating the ball early and his huge gaunt reaching out to swat anything loose. Venky Prasad, Vijay Bharadwaj and even Anil Kumble turned up to check on the proceedings and to stage a plot for the match.
Chris Gayle then decided to roll his arm over with some bowling, his trademark practice getup being the cap and sunglasses, with his semi-braided hair giving the appearance of a Ronaldino, the famous Brazilian soccer player. Asad Pathan bowled his leg-spin and tried variations. Saurabh Tiwary, while continuing his fine run of shots, suddenly pulled a muscle in his leg, a minor niggle. He stopped batting for the moment but then was seen ambling around.
Saurabh had had a close call with losing his mobile phone when during an official function out at a lounge bar on Tuesday evening, he realized he’d left his mobile phone somewhere. It was past 9:30 pm and the shop where he’d ‘probably’ forgotten it in while shopping had closed. Fortunately, the team management managed to contact the mall management and opened up the shop to secure it for the dashing RCB left-handed batter. Well, Saurabh will be looking to put all these events past him as he battles with KKR.
Finally, a well orchestrated practice session concluded and fortunately, there had been no rain. Let’s hope the dry spell continues into Thursday and that the bowlers too deliver some.