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Relaxed India now at ease with 350 as par score
21st January 2017
A relaxed looking Indian team came for optional practice today without skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble. However, the top pacers bowled their hearts out at the nets.
Later attending a pre match press conference Bhuvneshwar Kumar said death bowling has become difficult nowadays with 350 being a par score. Bhuvneshwar, who returned to the Indian ODI team in place of Umesh Yadav in the second match in Cuttack, bowled at the death to help his side stop England on the tracks in their late charge to overhaul India's mammoth 381.
"IPL has a big contriobution to the way I was bowling at the death. When Sunrisers (Hyderabad) picked me I was already playing for country and they were heavily dependent on me to bowl at the death. This international experience helped me a lot," Kumar said. Umesh Yadav, Jaspreet Bhumrah and Kumar bowled at length at the nets practicing yorkers. The job becomes doubly difficult in winter when there is dew in the evening. "It's difficult to bowl yorkers at the end when the ball is wet, and hence we practice with a wet ball to counter the problem. That is our counter was a plan to which we did to execute in pressure situations," Kumar, who picked up an injury in the third Test against New Zealand, said.
Asked whether the game has become more batsman friendly now, Kumar said, "We have become used to it. We know that 350 is a normal score. That's how we plan our practice and have team meetings. It's difficult because we are coming from the era when 250-300 was a par score but now 350 is a par score so it's not easy to bowl as a bowler. It's not easy to bowl yorkers with the wet ball. We are getting used to all these things and that's how we practice."
Sikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni batted at the nets. Dhoni gave a full tilt at the nets, while Dhawan batted despite his niggle on the left thumb.
On his comeback, Kumar said, "It is tough when you are playing after a while. There is nervousness somwhere. I have not played since long and there was always this feeing that I am practising so much and not playing in matches. Getting into the match and bowling two-three overs makes you used to match situation."
The others who missed the practice today are Yuvraj Singh, K L Rahul, R Ashwin, R Jadeja and Hardik Pandya.

Arindam Basu