India vs Australia 2018-19: Learning to tackle the fourth estate

Young Australian cricketers attend the press conference conducted by senior team captain Tim Paine, to provide them a glimpse of what to expect when they make the grade.

In the hot seat: Tim Paine at a press conference in Adelaide on Wednesday.   -  AFP

Handling the spotlight and the probing questions from the fourth estate can be difficult for new international players and Cricket Australia prefers not to leave anything to chance. The result — getting the junior Australian cricketers attend the press conference of their senior team captain Tim Paine.

The basic idea was to give the youngsters a peek into how a senior player handles the media and the tough questions.

After the ball-tampering scandal, Cricket Australia conducted a cultural review where the win-at-all-costs theory was largely criticised. There have been Australian captains in the past who had shared frosty relations with the media.

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Giving youngsters an opportunity to watch the interaction between a senior player and a journalist will give them an idea of what to expect when they make the grade.

K. L. Rahul’s Stump Vision

Most of the top Test players love a good knocking session before a Test match. They take hundreds of throw-downs and are happy to hear the red leather hit the sweet spot of the bat.

K. L. Rahul batted with a stump at practice. Photo: Vivek Bendre

 

But what does a batsman searching for form do? If you are K. L. Rahul, you pick up the off-stump, relegate your bat and do some knocking. It’s an age-old practice right from Sir Don Bradman’s era where a batsman uses a narrow stump to ensure that he is only middling the ball when margin of error is negligible.

Couple in a cordon

For a high-profile sports couple, living out of a suitcase comes with a package. Spending quality time at their peak is a luxury but if they happen to pursue the same sport, then an odd training session together is certainly not a bad idea.

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As Mitchell Starc found out when wife Alyssa Healey turned up at the men’s team’s training session ahead of the first Test against India starting on Thursday. Healey, who is one of the pillars of the Southern Stars line-up, had her husband standing in the first slip as she took a few catches during the simulated session.