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Kirsten pays special attention to Pathan

Bangalore: On his last assignment with the Indian team, coach Gary Kirsten focussed on all-rounder Yusuf Pathan and pacer Ashish Nehra on the second day of the four-day preparatory camp for the World Cup at the National Cricket Academy here on Thursday.

Kirsten was one of the first members of the team to take the field and left the ground last along with colleagues Eric Simmons (bowling consultant) and Paddy Upton (mental conditioning coach).

Kirsten supervised the net sessions of not only the batsmen but even attended to left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra and threw a few balls at him at the fag end of the three-hour long practice session.

Realising Pathan`s weakness against short-pitched stuff, Kirsten threw some bouncy balls at him and was also seen giving tips to him on how to counter the fast bowlers.

After yesterday`s optional practice session, it was more serious business today. Soon after arriving at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the entire Indian team went through fielding drills for nearly 45 minutes before shifting base to the NCA nets.

The trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who returned to the squad after a short injury lay-off, were the first to hit the nets and batted for about 40 minutes during which middled the ball from the word go.

Young Virat Kohli also spent a considerable amount of time at the nets and looked at ease but Yuvraj looked little out of sort with his timing.

After completing his session at the net, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined Harbhajan Singh at the other end of the NCA ground and the duo smacked Karnataka Cricket Academy bowlers to all parts of the park.

All the bowlers, meanwhile, rolled their arms in turns with Munaf Patel extracting considerable amount of pace and bounce from the pitch.

After the camp, India will be put to their first test when they play Australia in their first warm-up match on Sunday and then round off their preparation with a practice game against New Zealand in Chennai on February 16.

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