Thursday, July 25, 2024

Visitors focus on Anderson


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TAUNTON: Anticipating that they will be tested with short-pitched stuff in the upcoming Test series against England, Indian batsmen on Thursday devoted time in finding ways to handle the James Anderson-led pace battery even as the tour opens with a three-day game against Somerset from Friday.

With the county resting most of its top players, the wicket as featherbed as it comes and forecast of rain-laden next three days, the spectre of Anderson is making Indians almost bypass the game against Somerset.

Thus it was little wonder that Gautam Gambhir spent as much time as he could in the nets adjacent to the centre pitch. Coach Duncan Fletcher watched him from the front, then slipped behind the nets and had a few chosen words of advice for the tremendous opener.

Gambhir appeared to practice against deliveries which bounced and left him. Time and again, he hopped on to his backfoot and angled down the bat in the gully area — a realization that the quartet of Anderson, Steve Finn, John Tremlett and Stuart Broad are the tallest set of pacemen operating for one team in international cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar, the centre of all hype and anticipation on his 100th international hundred, looked bafflingly relaxed as he preferred the throwdowns from fielding coach Trevor Penny. The competition between the medium-pacers was palpable though Zaheer Khan preferred to gingerly run up to the crease. He might sit out on Friday to deny England captain Andrew Strauss the practice he so desperately needs. (PTI)


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