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February 16, 2013
India's conditioning camp in preparation for the four-Test series began on Saturday in Bangalore. This is a three-day camp after which the team will move to Chennai for the first Test, which begins on February 22. Over two sessions that lasted about three-and-a-half hours each, all the batsmen got a decent hit out in the middle as opposed to just nets sessions, and the bowlers got long spells.
In between, there was enough time for the team trainer, Ramji Srinivasan, to put the players through their paces. The new mask that some of the Indian players have been using for training was on display too. It simulates high-altitude training by reducing the oxygen supply, which helps condition the lungs and builds endurance.
The surprise of the day was when Virender Sehwag emerged wearing prescription glasses. When he batted in the middle, though, he didn't wear them. Later, at a net session, he had a knock with the glasses on. He has had these new glasses for about a week, but it is not clear if he will wear them when he goes out to bat in the next Test.
The highlight of the day was a temporary cloth sight screen that caught fire. As it happens at stadiums, there was some renovation work on, which involved welding, and the sparks caused the fire. No incident occurred, a new sight screen was erected, and all it resulted in was a five-minute break and a bit of smoke.
There were no injury concerns to report. Ishant Sharma, whose quick and sudden trip to Australia had caused a few doubts over his fitness, bowled at full pelt. Irfan Pathan and L Balaji, who have been rehabilitating at the National Cricket Academy, which is housed in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, also had a bowl.
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