After taking charge of the team in his second stint, India coach Ravi Shastri has tweaked team’s preparation style and though it’s early days, an immediate impact can be noticed.A key implementation on Shastri’s part is how the batsmen are now ever ready to bat in the middle. This has nothing to do with batting order, instead a new practice of warming up before going down to the middle.It was evident in Galle itself when Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund India’s opening pair for the first Test reached the ground before the rest of the squad. The mandate for them was to get to the nets and start hitting balls just in case India bat first.As it turned out, Kohli did win the toss and the amply warmed-up Dhawan smashed 190 off 168 balls in the first innings.By the time the openers went in, Cheteshwar Pujara had completed this routine, while Virat Kohli was in the nets. It is a different approach to the previous regime, of course, and agreeably welcomed in the team as well.The underlining aspect of this new thought process from coach Shastri is his belief that the team should exert its number one status on the field.India were confirmed as the world’s number one ranked Test side under Anil Kumble, romping to successive victories over the West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.Shastri has also brought forth a certain differentiation in the team’s thinking in the short span of time that he has spent with them thus far. In one of his first conversations with the team, the coach had underlined the importance of enjoying the game before thinking of anything else.advertisementApparently, he had asked the players to remember why they had started playing cricket and urged them to ‘exhibit this passion on the field’.Given the short time frame of comparison, it might be harsh to highlight Kumble’s coaching approach as a bit too methodical, if not mechanical. Shastri’s first move has been to unshackle the players in his own inimitable way, whilst keeping a tight leash on how things take their course within the dressing room.And there is a keen example of this as well.For some time now, the Indian team has a standing rule that injured or ill players will be given back their spots in the playing eleven when they make a successful return to the squad after proving their fitness.Apparently, in February when India were preparing to play Bangladesh, Ajinkya Rahane, returning from injury, was not aware of his standing in the team’s plans. It was only after Kohli highlighted in the pre-match press conference that Karun Nair despite his triple ton would have to make way for the vice-captain, did a clearer picture emerge.There is much clarity now in keeping with how things shaped up couple years ago. Earlier past week, KL Rahul recovered sufficiently from his illness and joined the team in Galle. He even frolicked with his colleagues on Sunday as the Indian players spent their afternoon at a resort near their team hotel.Although the team management hasn’t officially confirmed his return to full fitness, it is expected that he will be part of the playing eleven at the SSC in Colombo when the second Test starts on August 3.As such, it becomes a problem of plenty. India will once again have three fit and in-form openers to choose from, yet it is an easy guess the name expected to lose out.
Ahmed Shehzad played just one game in the ICC Champions Trophy in June and was replaced by Fakhar Zaman afterwards.Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad is the latest cricketer trolled on social media after he posted a post-workout picture on his Twitter handle and was called things like ‘drama queen’ and ‘selfie queen’ by a few of his followers.In the picture, Shehzad could be seen resting in his car while sweating profusely after his workout session in the gym. He captioned the picture, “Sana: howz the feeling of a good work out? Me: (picture)”.Sana: howz the feeling of a good work out?Me: pic.twitter.com/a0mokMAvKo- Ahmad Shahzad (@iamAhmadshahzad) August 8, 2017Hashtag Selfie Queen.Hashtag Drama Queen.- Mehwish (@Mehwish_dr) August 8, 2017Hashtag out of teamHashtag may he never return in the side- J. (@a_socialanimal) August 8, 2017Dude, it is very very unlikely that your wife asked you that.- Talha Ahmed (@_talhaahmed) August 8, 2017Fakhar Zaman kaisa hai??????- Dragon Fly (@Dr_Dragon001) August 8, 2017Bragging at itz best…show off…- Zarar Mir (@zararmir) August 10, 2017Car ka AC sahi karale,if money problem then muthoot gold loan hai na….- Abhinavd Agarwal (@abhinavdagarwal) August 9, 2017Plz make it real in Cricket???- Abuhuraira Ansari (@HurairaOfficial) August 8, 2017Feeling right after Mickey Arthur statement #PakistanZindabad- RFJ (@RajaFasy) August 8, 2017da shoda bacheya la kho. Show off. Dummy Virat kohli- aimal khan (@aimalkhanmandal) August 10, 2017Shehzad last played for Pakistan in their opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy against India where he scored 12 from 22 balls as Pakistan lost by 124 runs via D/L method.advertisementHe was dropped from the playing XI afterwards and replaced by talented left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman, who went on to amass 252 runs in four games at an average of 63 with two fifties and a brilliant hundred which he scored in the final against India as Pakistan won by a huge margin of 180 runs to lift their maiden Champions Trophy title.