England practice hard upon arrival

The England team arrived here on Wednesday and headed straight for the nets at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Khandheri.

Having been rested from their last practice game against Delhi the Ferozeshah Kotla in the Capital, it was no surprise that Kevin Pietersen looked the most eager to put on the pads.

Although the team had played day-night match on Tuesday and reached Rajkot only on Wednesday afternoon, it was a full training session for the Englishmen, even as their Indian counterparts gave training a miss on Wednesday after arriving later in the day.

England reached the ground 2: 30pm, and had a long chat inside the dressing room before Ashley Giles — their coach in the shorter formats — went to the centre wicket to have a look at and talk to BCCI’s West Zone curator Dhiraj Parsana. The two had an animated discussion for close to 15 minutes.

As Pietersen entered the batting net, skipper Alastair Cook tried his hand at bowling, serving up some military medium deliveries with a new ball.

Steven Finn had an extended stretching session before he started bowling at Craig Kieswetter at the adjacent net.

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Pietersen looked in full flow as he cut and drove with ease and every time the net bowlers pitched something up, he was willing to dance down the track to play them in the air.

It was interesting to see batting coach Graham Gooch follow the whole session from behind the nets, even as Giles had conversations with all the bowlers, especially Samit Patel. Giles seemed to suggest a few corrections to the leftarm spinner’s bowling action.

Eager Pietersen looks in good touch at the nets