Gambhir-led Indians get down to business!

GUWAHATI: A new look Team India under Gautam Gambhir on Friday had a light practice session immediately after reaching the city in the afternoon, while the New Zealanders opted to unwind at their team hotel ahead of the Sunday’s opening ODI.

Named skipper of a second string Indian squad for the first two one-dayers of the five-match series, Gambhir looked calm and composed as the young bunch went through the paces under coach Gary Kirsten and bowling coach Eric Simmons.

Senior-most pro of the side, Yuvraj Singh, pacer S Sreesanth and opener Murali Vijay joined the team late and did not attend the practice, even as the other members of the squad were seen at the nets.

In-form Virat Kohli, who was the star of India’s last series against Australia with a match-winning 118 in Visakhapatnam, was at his fluent best as he batted in tandem along with Saurabh Tiwary at the nets.

Ashish Nehra, picked in place of pacer Praveen Kumar who was down with fever, was seen bowling and then padding up towards the fag end of the session.

Nehra is most likely to share the new ball with Sreesanth with the Nehru Stadium strip normally provides some assistance to the seamers early on.

Set for his ODI debut, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha did some shadow practice besides going in for some catches.

Saha, who has been in scintillating form after his career best Ranji knock of 178 not out against Assam, said, "I am ready to bat at any position. There is no pressure on me. I will play the same way as if I’m playing in a state, club-level match."

The Indians will have practice session in the morning tomorrow, while the visiting team will be at the nets in the afternoon.

India have rested skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh due to injury concerns for the first two ODIs.(PTI)

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