Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian contingent on Thursday had its first practice session under lights ahead of the white-ball series against hosts Sri Lanka.
The official Twitter handle of BCCI shared pictures from the session with the caption: “Our first practice session under lights begins now #TeamIndia #SLvIND.”
In the team picture, coach Rahul Dravid can be seen giving a pep talk to the players. The squad will be led by senior India opener Dhawan, with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar acting as his deputy.
A young Indian camp, packed with uncapped players, will play its first game in Sri Lanka on July 18th. The two sides are set to start the rescheduled white-ball series with the first ODI in Colombo on Sunday.
Multiple players, set to make their debuts in Sri Lanka, were in awe of playing under Dravid. The uncapped trio of Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, and Chetan Sakariya heaped praise on the former India batter and shared their equation with him.
“Being from the same school, the first time I actually met him was in one of our sports day events, where I had to present him with a bouquet – that is when I spoke to him for the first time,” Padikkal said on Star Sports.
“I have always been awestruck by how incredibly calm and gentle a human being he is. To have achieved so much in cricket and to be so down-to-earth, humble and kind towards everyone is incredible to watch,” added the elegant left-handed opener.
Sakariya, who was impressive during his stint with Rajasthan Royals this year, also praised Dravid’s determination against opposition teams like Australia and England.
“I would want to learn how he was so determined when the opposing teams like Australia and England played dominant cricket.
“I want to understand how he troubled them and how he could achieve so much with sheer determination. I want to learn and understand the process which goes behind that mindset,” said Sakariya.
Nitish Rana also lauded Dravid by saying, “I have heard that Rahul Dravid as a coach is similar to Rahul Dravid as a player. I wish I could bring even one percent of the patience he has within me; it will be a big achievement for me.”