India's T20 squad sweats it out at NCA

Harbhajan and Yuvraj (file photo)

Bangalore: National Cricket Academy (NCA), housed inside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here, is buzzing with activity as ICC World Twenty20-bound players who are not part of the Test squad are polishing their skills and working on their fitness.

Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Rohit Sharma, L Balaji, Ashoke Dinda, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Manoj Tiwary, all members of the World Cup squad, are slogging it out at the state-of-the art facilities at the NCA under a battery of experts, comprising physiotherapists and trainers.

The other eight of the 15-member squad are involved in the ongoing Test match against New Zealand here.

Apart from these, leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who is part of the India 'A' squad that will tour New Zealand, and Delhi's Shikhar Dhawan are also availing the facilities for training and fitness at the NCA. Dhawan is a joker in the pack and keeps his fellow cricketers entertained.

The T20 World Cupbound players will leave on Tuesday for Visakhapatnam for the first of the two Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand, to be played on September 8 at the Indira Priyadarshini Stadium.

With the presence of the cream of the country's cricket talent at one place, the spectators who come to watch the Test match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium are having a double delight.

Those who occupy seats in the stands on top of the NCA also often stop to watch the players at the academy nets, which are next to the staircase leading to their seats in the upper tier.

They are seen making maximum use of their mobile phones as they click pictures of the stars and some of the more adventurous ones slip closer to the nets where the players are batting and bowling, before the guards shoo them away.

Some of the better prepared spectators also bring along their autograph books and the lucky ones among them manage to get souvenirs.

And when they can't, they just shout the names of players, pleading with them to just turn towards them.

After their practice session, players just want to rush to their hotel. But when a vehicle is not available immediately to take them to their destination, some of them while away their time by entertaining themselves — and watching the spectators.

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