It was an optional training session for Indian players in Mumbai on Tuesday ahead of their World Cup semifinal against New Zealand and some of the key members including fast bowling pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami decided to stay away to rest and recuperate. Having played their last league match a couple of nights ago in Bengaluru followed by travel to Mumbai on Monday, Indian players did not go full steam ahead in the training session here ahead of the final four clash on Wednesday.
India captain Rohit Sharma and in-form senior batter Virat Kohli were present, with the latter spending time in all three nets facing fast bowler Mohammed Siraj followed by spinners and throwdown specialists.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja too had a long batting stint in the nets before he joined the fielding coach T Dilip to have a catching session while Ravichandran Ashwin, who has not featured in any game since India’s tournament-opener in Chennai against Australia, bowled for extensive period.
Opener Shubman Gill, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul, middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer also gave the session a miss.
Fashion Show to keep environment light
The India captain insisted upon having a healthy environment in the group to have consistency and not being affected by on-field results.
“Our conscious effort has been on this that the team’s environment does not change based on the results. We have to create the environment that is needed for the team, and that is mandatory,” Rohit told the media here at the Wankhede Stadium during his pre-match conference.
“This cannot be done by one or two boys. It is important for all the boys to come together, including the support staff,” he added.
There were team bonding activities planned, including a fashion show, where the squad members were asked to walk the ramp.
“Like we were in Dharamshala, we had a five- or six-day break there. We stayed in Dharamsala for two days. We did a lot of team activity there. We did a fashion show there, but no one knows about that. It is a good thing that no one knows about it,” even in toughest of situations, Rohit can make anyone laugh.
Rohit stressed upon the need of having a relaxed environment in the playing group as pressure accompanies the players and the team wherever they go, irrespective of the tournament or series they are involved in.
“This is the environment where we like to be very relaxed. All the boys like this a lot. Because you know, when you come on the ground, there will be pressure, pressure of performance, pressure of winning the match. That cannot be changed,” he said.
“Because once you reach the ground, it is then up to the individuals how they want to take it forward. But before that, we have done everything we can to make the team’s environment easy. The team’s atmosphere is very good. It is very relaxed,” Rohit said on the eve of the semifinal.
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