The Indian players dined at ‘British Raj’ before getting down to plot England’s downfall in the T20 World Cup semifinal, and the irony wasn’t lost on anyone here in Australia. The ‘Men in Blue’ have been living out of their suitcases since arriving in Australia, and as the showpiece entered its business end, they took out some time to bond and relax at a well-known Indian restaurant ahead of the big semi-final. On Thursday, Rohit Sharma’s team would be aiming to end England’s run in this edition of the global meet.
The restaurant situated at 170, Henley Beach Road in Torrensville is famous in this part of the world for its chicken tikka, Kashmiri pilau and lamb rogan josh. Earlier in the tournament, the Indian team had some issues with the kind of menu that was decided by the ICC. It didn’t suit the players’ tastebuds.
“The team and the players hardly had any time to relax and take their mind off from the pressure of a high-octane tourney like World Cup since there has been hardly any time between games,” a senior BCCI official privy to the team activities told PTI.
“… And too many internal flights, three days in Adelaide is like bliss. Hence the players and their partners (wives and girlfriends) who are present joined for a team dinner. This is a team bonding exercise also and a chance to completely unwind,” he added.
Since the Indian cricket team is commercially the most viable squad, its itinerary has been full of travel around all the major Australian cities.
They first travelled from Mumbai to Perth. The team stayed seven days in Perth for its first intensive training and practice games, followed by another round of official warm-up games (one washed out in Brisbane). These were two different time zones before they landed in Melbourne.
In Melbourne, they stayed for four days, followed by four days in Sydney, another three days in Perth (different time zone), followed by three days in Adelaide and another three days in Melbourne.
It has only been about playing matches and hoping onto the next flight with a rest day and an optional training session in between.
Head coach Rahul Dravid, even during his captaincy days and later as U-19 national coach, has been big on team bonding and team activities.
On the day, Rohit got hit on the forearm but he is absolutely fine and there is no strapping on his right hand, which must have delighted the fans present outside the team hotel.
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