India's limited-overs specialists sweat it out at NCA ahead of England tour
In July 2016, Manish Pandey made his India debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe at Harare, playing under Ajinkya Rahane and scoring 71 at No. 5, making a case for a spot in the middle-order.
Three years later, Pandey is preparing for yet another ODI series, batting long hours at the NCA in Chinnaswamy, home to his first IPL franchise, but is still aiming to seal a spot in the middle-order. Left out of the ODI series against England, he still has his name in the squad list for the T20Is.
While a major chunk of the Test team is enjoying the extended break due to the early end to the Afghanistan game, some of the limited-overs specialists have already started their engines ahead of their tour to England.
Batting alongside Manish Pandey, alternating with him in the nets, was MS Dhoni, preparing ahead of his fourth tour to England. Along with Pandey and Dhoni, those present were leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and uncapped medium-pacer Siddarth Kaul.
Playing against net bowlers (one off-spinner and two leg-spinners), Pandey and Dhoni took turns, with India's throwdown expert Raghavindra peppering the session with his accurate throws, even putting in the odd bouncer to surprise the batsmen.
He even managed to clean up Pandey's stumps once, much to the 28-year-old's dismay.
Punjab medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma, who played for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in this year's IPL, made a late entry to the practice area and went on to bowl to Pandey, even as MS Dhoni took off his pads and stayed close to the nets.
Dhoni had a discussion with Chahal and Kaul before focussing his eyes on Pandey and intently watching the batsman employ his usual, quirky style of batting.
Team India's physio Patrick Farhart made a quick entry where the players were practicing, and then made his way back into the NCA.
Sharma, in the meantime, started first with a small run-up, but used a measuring tape and extended it to a full one. Along with a staff member from the NCA, Sharma was in the nets for about half an hour but did not bowl much, sending down about ten deliveries before making his way back to the NCA.
The last time India toured England in 2014, they emerged victorious in the ODI series under MS Dhoni. Ahead of the World Cup, another series win in the Old Blighty would be a welcome boost for Kohli and his men.