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Indian Team Begins Preparation For Test Series

PTI 15 Jan 2010, 20:02:52 IST

After a slew of one-dayers, the star-studded Indian side on Friday  switched to Test mode with a two-hour practice session ahead of the first of the two-match series in Chittagong from Sunday.

With six players, including top guns Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, joining the ranks, the full-strength Indian side slugged it out at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium under the watchful eyes of coach Gary Kirsten.

The practice session began around 2:30 pm with a game of football for around 15 minutes before heading for the nets. Today's practice was mainly devoted to batting and bowling and not much fielding. 

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were the first to be padded facing fast bowlers Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma and Sudeep Tyagi and then spinners Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha. 

The opening duo were followed by Dravid and Tendulkar, who normally bat at number three and four before Laxman and Yuvraj Singh came in.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Murali Vijay and Harbhajan also had batting sessions with the latter enjoying himself with some big hits off fellow spinner Pragyan Ojha. 

All the top order batsmen, including Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman, had extended batting sessions at the other two nets with Kirsten and mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton making direct throws at them. 

Reserve wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, Sreesanth and Mishra also had brief batting sessions.

Except for the young brigade of Ishant, Ojha, Tyagi and Mishra, who had some outfield catching session, the others did not have any fielding session. 

While Sehwag and Gambhir were batting, Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid had slip catching practice with Kirtsen hitting the ball with Dhoni in wicket-keeping position. PTI