As the Australian players battled the scorching sun to hit the nets at the VCA Stadium here on Monday, Mathew Hayden came calling.
The former Australia batsman, who is in India as a commentator for the series, had a long chat with Glenn Maxwell and could be seen discussing a few points with captain Aaron Finch, who is undergoing a rough patch in the ongoing tour.
Hayden could also be seen demonstrating shot selections to Maxwell. The two spoke for nearly half an hour, after which the in-form batsman returned to the stadium for a shoot with Cricket Australia.
Ever since coming to India, Hayden has made it a point to spend time with the Australian cricketers and share his experiences with them. Before the T20I series, Hayden had visited the team in Visakhapatnam.
Hayden, it has been learned, was requested by his old friend and Australia coach, Justin Langer, to spend time with the side. “It was obviously great to have JL (Justin Langer’s) great mate and a legend of the game come back,” Finch had said.
A happy hunting ground
India has an edge over Australia in the second ODI on Tuesday. In the last three outings at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Australia has not been able to defeat the host. In October 2009, India had defeated the Aussies by 99 runs in an ODI, while in 2013, it had managed a six-wicket win. The last time the two sides met in 2017, India had won by seven wickets. But the Indian team isn’t reading too much into the past records. “Every game is a new game. It’s not like that you are beating them (regularly), so it would be easy for you. The other teams also wants to keep its best foot forward. Australia is a good team and their bowling and batting is good, so the game will be good and challenging,” India’s spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, said.
The Indian team also had a couple of surprise guests at the training session. Determined to catch a glimpse of the players, two monkeys hopped from one tree to another surrounding the pitch to search for the best seat in the house.