Kanpur Test: Rahane, Pujara move into leadership roles as old bond with coach Dravid strengthens

Three brisk strides, the last longer than the first two, Rahul Dravid broke into his delivery stride with an effortless whirl of his shoulder, floated an off-break into Cheteshwar Pujara at the nets. The ball landed just outside the off-stump to encounter the visage of Pujara’s stretched and dead-straight bat. The ball dropped dead beside his feet, and as Pujara threw the ball back at Dravid, the latter gestured to him with a flick of his wrists that he could not cajole the flight he had wanted.

Watching all these, not far from the nets, was Ajinkya Rahane. He walked towards Dravid and whispered something into his ears. Dravid vigorously nodded his head, before rushing back to bowl the next. This one was more flight, had more revs, dropped suddenly into Pujara and spun back sharply into his legs. Pujara swiftly went deep into his crease and defended the ball to safety, though uncomfortably. Dravid flicked a thumbs’ up at Rahane. Whatever his inputs were, it seemed to work.

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