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    Bruised India lack intensity in practice

    The Indian cricketers went through the motions in an optional practice session.

    London: With the series already out of their bag, Indian cricketers on Tuesday went through the motions in an optional practice session, clearly showing lack of intensity ahead of the fourth and final cricket Test here on Thursday.

    Team India, without pacer Praveen Kumar, had the looks of a bruised and battered outfit as they trooped in at The Oval.

    Praveen, who was hit on his right thumb on the last day of the Edgbaston Test, is expected to recover in time for the final match of the series though any official word is yet to come.

    An Indian team communique earlier in the day informed the media that the visitors would be having only optional practice session today, which sounded incredible given the fact that they had stayed away from the ground for the last two days.

    Everyone, be it batters or bowlers, need to pick themselves up for the final Test but what one witnessed in the middle was just the opposite.

    Among regular pacers, only Munaf Patel bent his back.

    Admittedly, Praveen, Ishant Sharma and S Sreesanth have had a heavy workload but the reserves needed a good stint out in the middle, besides offering good practice to batters. But it was not quite visible from the outside.

    Interestingly, a whole army of net bowlers were there to help out the Indians. A casual count put the number to 15 but the quality was not the kind to keep the heartbeat racing.

    The team began with a session of yoga in the middle, followed by the usual session of football before stretching themselves out off the railings.