File picture of MS Dhoni batting in nets | AFP
File picture of MS Dhoni batting in nets | AFP

Away from the prying eyes of media and fans, former India captain MS Dhoni had a long batting session at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, as he prepares for the upcoming England tour. India will play 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs against England in the month of July.

At the age of 36, MS Dhoni has changed the way he trains for major tours. He faced almost hundreds of deliveries with more than 70% of them being throw downs from the expert Raghu.

MS Dhoni has already passed the yo-yo test on June 15 and had stayed back at the NCA to work alone on his game. He took help of pacer Shardul Thakur in nets and along with Raghu, spent more than two hours at once, facing a peppering of short balls from 18 yards.

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Dhoni resumed after a short break and then had the assistance of Siddarth Kaul in nets along with Shardul. The veteran was peppered with short balls which reared from the back of the length. He gingerly defended a few, confidently brought a few down and even swayed out of the line in case of a few.

However, the moment he got a short ball outside off, he would slash it over point.

Shardul Thakur placed imaginary field placing and Dhoni played accordingly; often giving advice to the youngster, which Thakur absorbed attentively. The reflexes are certainly not the same as it used to be. There were a lot of play and miss deliveries but when he middled it, it did make a beautiful sound.

However, as the session wounded up, he saw a few press people watching the session and said smilingly, “Bhanak lag gaya (So you got the whiff that I am here).

(With PTI inputs)

By Jatin Sharma