The residual sunshine at twilight hour joined forces with floodlights at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday to provide Chennai Super Kings’ first practice session of this IPL season a hypnagogic backdrop.
Things began, as they normally do in training sessions, with suitable restraint, the jog-and-stretch routine doing enough to warm the body. New entrant Dirk Nannes ran in, giving it his all and some more, bowling throughout the session.
He was kept company on the field by an inquisitive, little whirl of energy — his young son — that seemed unmindful of the perils that came with a brusquely-struck cricket ball.
‘Opening’ the batting, Anirudha Srikkanth and S. Badrinath took turns to strike leather. Each short session was followed by a chat with coach Stephen Fleming.
The bowling complement included blustery pace from Mohit Sharma and some steady seam-up from Vijay Shankar.
There was also spin on offer in the form of offie B. Aparajith and left-armer R. Karthikeyan.
The fast bowlers let the batters have it, firing away bumpers and beamers. Not that the batsmen were going to take it lying down.
Michael Hussey, recently retired from International cricket, tried his hand at endangering camerapersons stationed near the sightscreen. Anirudha and Badrinath weren’t far off the mark either, belting the ball mercilessly.
Bowling coach Andy Bichel passed on much of his restless energy to his wards, keeping at bay even a vague element of lethargy.
He was the perfect counterpoint to a laconic Fleming. With other players slated to join the squad over the weekend, the practice sessions are bound to get much livelier.