Teams spar over training timings

It might be called a carnival, but the mind games have already started in the IPL. With the opening match set to be played under lights at the Eden Gardens, Delhi Daredevils wanted to train in the evening on Sunday.

But Kolkata Knight Riders refused to share the ground with the visitors, forcing Daredevils to train in the afternoon under the sun. That wasn’t all. Even the net bowlers were way below par and ultimately the likes of Aashish Kapoor had to chip in.

A livid Daredevils official said that the situation could have been easily avoided.

“Initially they asked us to train at four. But we wanted to train under lights and wanted to come at six. But KKR refused to share the training ground with us. As a result we were again forced to come at four,” the official told Mail Today. “ In fact, they were reluctant to turn on the floodlights even as the natural light was fading. I think they are forgetting that you will get what you give. I hope they won’t mind when we ask them to train in the morning in Raipur — venue of Daredevils’ home match against KKR,” he said.

Having been forced to sweat it out in the sun, the Delhi Daredevils focused on honing their T20 skills ahead of the opening match of the season. The sweeps, glides and scoops were out of the closet and the dead defensive took a backseat.

Andre Russell has been one of the most interesting characters at the Delhi nets with his power hitting, but on Sunday, he had tough competition from skipper Mahela Jayawardene.

The Lankan looked in terrific touch as he smashed bowlers around the park. The only difference was that while it was power with elegance for Jayawardene, it was all about brute force for Russell.

Even U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand looked to be in good nick after two tons in the just- concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

The session was supervised by coach Eric Simons, mentor TA Sekar, batting and fielding coach Trent Woodhill and bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed.

Unmukt said momentum plays an important role and he is looking to cash in on his good form.

“Momentum is important in any format and I would like to carry my form into the IPL — definitely one of the best platforms for youngsters like us to make a mark,” he said.

Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan are set to join the team on Monday while Johan Botha and David Warner will arrive on Sunday night.

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