Hardik Pandya’s presence during the Indian team’s training session at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday took many by surprise. Pandya’s comeback was thwarted after his rehabilitation from a back surgery “took longer time than expected” and he had to be replaced in the India ‘A’ team. Yesterday, however, he bowled at full throttle in the nets and also fielded intensely.
Later, he won hearts with a kind gesture towards an injured security guard. Arfad Qureshi, 21, who was stationed at the boundary line at the Tata end, was hit on his chest when Virat Kohli hammered one down the ground. The impact was such that Qureshi fell to the ground. Pandya, who witnessed the incident, immediately went up to Qureshi and offered him water. He then accompanied him to the medical room, where the guard received some treatment. “I was in so much pain that I did not realise that it was Hardik bhai who had come to help me. He was so kind,” Qureshi told mid-day.
Indians train hard
India’s strength and conditioning coach Nick Webb often comes up with some out-of-the-box drills to warm up the boys before a training session. On Monday, Webb, a former New Zealand rugby team trainer, made Virat Kohli & Co do the bear crawl and sprint in teams of three as part of a team bonding exercise. The players were made to pick a jersey number and then hug that cricketer. They then lined up on either side, got down on their knees and each player had to crawl through the middle while their teammates tried to stop them.