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India players warm up for South Africa Tests with footvolley

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The Indian cricket team is gradually increasing its training intensity as it adapts to the higher altitude ahead of the first Test against South Africa, here from December 26.

Indian players arrived here via a chartered flight on Friday morning after three days of quarantine in Mumbai. The players had to isolate for a day in a resort here before they could have an outdoor session.

In a video tweeted by BCCI on Saturday, the team members, including head coach Rahul Dravid, were seen enjoying a game of footvolley.

How did #TeamIndia recharge their batteries ahead of their first training session in Jo’Burg? 🤔

On your marks, get set & Footvolley! ☺️😎👏👌#SAvIND pic.twitter.com/dIyn8y1wtz

— BCCI (@BCCI) December 18, 2021
The series is taking place amid the rising threat of COVID-19 following the emergence of the Omicron variant in southern Africa.

India’s tour was put in serious doubt because of the prevailing situation but both the boards agreed to go ahead with the tour.

The visitors are staying in a resort which is entirely booked for them by Cricket South Africa to ensure a strict bubble is maintained throughout the series. Since it is not the usual five-star hotel, the players have enough open space to move around the property.

The players have been vocal about tough life in the bio-bubbles.

India’s strength and conditioning coach Soham Desai gave an insight to what the players have been up to so far.

“We have had three days of hard quarantine in Mumbai and 10 hours of long flight and yesterday was again a hard quarantine here. So, starting our skill sessions would have been high risk for the guys.

“So they just went for a run, stretched out and sweated it out and this game will help bridge the gap between inactivity and skill sessions which we start tomorrow.

“Also the schedule is such that we have to get going right away. We can only do so much. The elevation here is 1,400 metres and we are coming from sea level, so the guys will take two three days to adapt.” Talking about players’ love for footvolley, Desai added, “This game can now be called the Indian cricket team game. We give them many other options but they end up choosing footvolley.

“They love it and they have their own battles within the team for years now. It helps them focus on the game and stay in a happy place.” PTI


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