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T20 WC 2021

T20 World Cup: MS Dhoni becomes India’s ‘latest throwdown specialist’, Hardik doesn’t bowl

Sports Lounge Staff

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New Delhi: Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl a single delivery even as “mentor” Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried his hand at throwdowns during the Indian team’s optional session ahead of its opening T20 World Cup game against arch-rival Pakistan on Sunday.

Pandya’s bowling has been a bone of contention as far as his place in the playing XI is concerned. He looked scratchy while batting during both the warm-up games against England and Australia.

However in the two net sessions that India have had, he didn’t even roll his arm over once.

On Friday, Dhoni was seen helping the three throwdown experts — Raghavendra, Nuwan and Dayanand.

Dhoni with his brute strength and also the brilliant cricket brain is expected to provide some quality practice for all the batters including skipper Virat Kohli who attended the afternoon session.

Net bowlers sent back

India have sent back four of their designated net bowlers back to India as the tournament proper starts on Sunday.

The bowlers who have already reached India are Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, Krishnappa Gowtham and all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer.

“Yes, there won’t be too many net sessions once the tournament starts. The national selectors feel that all the spinners especially would benefit if they go back and play Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for their respective states. They need match practice.

“Also in this heat with optional practice, we won’t need so many spinners,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The four fast bowlers, who have been asked to stay back are Ayesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel  and Lukman Meriwalla.

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