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Fitness Focus: KL Rahul's Return to Nets and India's Skill Camp

     The 31-year-old, wearing a fitness-tracking vest, underwent conditioning exercises supervised by the team's coaches. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took to the batting crease for their simulation drill against Mohammed Siraj and Yash Dayal.

     Rahul, who recently recovered from an injury, was named in the Asia Cup squad by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). While Shreyas Iyer, also returning from a long injury, awaited his turn to bat alongside Virat Kohli, Rahul focused on his fitness routine. He had experienced a setback in his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy due to a minor injury.

     After two hours, Rahul finally stepped out to bat with Suryakumar Yadav under sweltering conditions at the Platinum Oval in Alur. India followed the expected batting order, sending out pairs of batsmen. Kohli and Iyer were slated to bat after Rohit and Gill, completing the top-four lineup.

     Rahul's session began with an outside edge before he settled down and showed no signs of discomfort facing Shardul Thakur and Akash Deep's seam bowling. Captain Rohit Sharma and chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar closely observed Rahul's session. Although there were no quick runs between the wickets, Rahul displayed decisive footwork and shot-making, including impressive flick shots. When spinners Axar Patel and Mayank Markande came on, Rahul showcased additional shots, including sweeps and a reverse sweep against the left-arm spinner.

     Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan worked on keeping drills with fielding coach T Dilip nearby as Rahul continued his batting session. After nearly an hour, Rahul concluded his session with a discussion with head coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour before the lunch break.

     Throughout the session, India's batting revolved around match scenarios. Openers faced pacers with the new ball and later tackled spinners Rahul Chahar and Ravindra Jadeja. Kohli and Iyer also confronted pace from Mohammed Shami and Dayal, with Iyer handling short balls comfortably. The team focused on practicing against specific types of bowling, particularly left-arm fast bowling (Dayal) and wrist spin (Chahar and Markande).

     On the first day of the camp, the players and support staff prioritized fitness drills and routines. The support staff conducted a fitness assessment, excluding Rahul and Iyer. Players who did not participate in the recent Ireland series underwent a fitness test, primarily the Yo-Yo test.

     Although specific scores were not disclosed, it is believed that most players achieved satisfactory results. Virat Kohli publicly revealed his personal score of 17.2, but the scores of other players remain unknown. According to sources from the BCCI, everyone's scores were deemed satisfactory.

     Rahul and Iyer are expected to undergo the Yo-Yo test later, along with Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Tilak Varma, and Sanju Samson, who will join the camp in the coming days after returning from Dublin.


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