For the preparation for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) final against Baroda, Punjab called in ten net bowlers during Sunday evening’s training session here at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium.
Of those ten, one lanky fast bowler stood out, wearing an Australian training kit’s upper and headband. Ashish Bhardwaj plays for the Mohali district and was the net bowler when Australia faced India in the first ODI in September this year.
Bhardwaj, a Chandigarh local, had bowled to both India and the Australian nets and impressed Pat Cummins, who gave him his training kit.
“I bowled Cummins and got the wicket of (Josh) Inglis via nick,” Bhardwaj said proudly as he waited for his turn to bowl.
When inquired about his height, the 17-year-old said, “This T-shirt fits me, and it is Cummins’, so that means I’m 6”3.”
“When you watch international players play, you understand how good their level is,” Bhardwaj exclaimed as he gestured how fast the ball was going past him when the players trained.
“I had a long chat with Nathan Ellis (Australia pacer). He was talking about how high arm and low action work. He also told me about which muscles I need to gain strength and how tight they should be,” he said.
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