The people who are best in the business always secretly train hard to sharpen their skills and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is no such exception, as he prepares himself far from the public eye at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) ahead of the England tour.
Cricket news: Dhoni prepares himself with the help from Shardul Thakur and Raghu
Legends who are at the end of their career, try to follow a specific routine so that they extend their career by a little time longer.
During the last few years in international cricket, Sachin Tendulkar used to train alone in the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, and the practice session of Dhoni at NCA looked pretty much similar.
Among most of the deliveries, which included hundreds of them, seventy percent were throw-downs.
Dhoni had passed the yo-yo fitness test on June 15 and had decided to stay back before the usual hullabaloo around the team dies down and then he would take the field.
Had the Afghanistan Test not finished in two days, it would have been the fifth day of the match at Bengaluru.
Dhoni entered the nets at the NCA with the team’s throw-down expert Raghu who was accompanied with speedster Shardul Thakur.
The next two and half hours were a rigorous training session with customary throw-downs from 18 yards by Raghu along with Thakur’s deliveries in between.
After practising for two hours at a stretch, Dhoni took a small break and then again resumed batting and this time he was accompanied by another speedster Siddarth Kaul as well.
There weren’t too many people watching the practice session of Dhoni. Raghu started with usual length deliveries for Dhoni to warm-up by knocking those deliveries.
Slowly the pace was increased with short balls and back of the length deliveries. The veteran defended few of them, confidently stroked some of them and sometimes swayed out of the line in case of few.
Whenever there was enough width in the delivery, Dhoni would slash that delivery over point. After some time he called up Shardul to know about his imaginary field placements and Shardul pointed at mid-wicket, extra-cover and deep fine leg, and Dhoni started playing accordingly.
He would sometimes call Shardul up and gave some words of advice which the young sppedster listened intently. The reflexes were not the same as it used to be and there were many play and misses, but when Dhoni connected some, it produced a beautiful sound.
When the training session ended Dhoni found that there were some scribes watching him. "Bhanak lag gaya (So you got the whiff that I am here)," he smiled at one of them and then he disappeared inside the confines of the NCA dressing room.