India batters busy perfecting conventional and reverse sweeps

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Visakhapatnam, Jan 31 (PTI) Indian batters are not known for their sweeping skills but they made a conscious effort to practise that shot in their opening net session ahead of the second Test against England beginning here on Friday.

Barring skipper Rohit Sharma, not many Indian batters resorted to the sweep shot in the opening Test which the hosts lost to England by 28 runs, only their fourth defeat at home since 2013.

Sweeps and reverse sweeps on the other hand have emerged as a strong weapon for England batters against the champion Indian spinners who were at the receiving end in the second innings of Hyderabad Test.

Gill, Patidar go big on sweeps ================== All Indian squad members turned up for the opening session that took place in the afternoon.

Struggling for runs, Shubman Gill was seen practising both the conventional and reverse sweep. For someone who has all the shots, he was criticised for his defensive play in the series opener.

In line to make his debut on Friday, Rajat Patidar too went for the sweep and reverse sweep. All the batters were not sweeping every ball but it was a lot more than what they practised in the Hyderabad nets.

Sarfaraz Khan, another player who could make his debut, also had a hit in the nets. Both him and Patidar also got catching practice in the slips.

The sweep doesn't come naturally to the home team batters and coach Vikram Rathour said that they should play to their strengths.

"It is not something you can try. You need to practice it. If you have more shots it is beneficial. We play in a traditional way. Our strength is going straight and using our feet. We need to do that well and and if we can play some shots, that is always a good addition," he said.

Joe Root bats left handed =============== England's batting mainstay Joe Root set up as a left-hander before turning for the reverse sweep in the team's session in the morning.

Jack Leach, who is nursing an injury on his left keen, did not train on Wednesday and looks a doubtful starter, bringing uncapped Shoaib Bashir into the equation. PTI BS AH AH

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