Ind vs Aus ODI series: Indian team’s throwdown specialist D Raghavendra has not yet been allowed to join Virat Kohli and co. in Sydney despite testing negative upon arrival in Australia. Raghavendra had tested positive for COVID-19 in Bangalore last month and as a result did not join the Indian squad and the Australians who played in the Indian Premier League on a charter flight from Dubai to Sydney two weeks ago.
In the absence of Raghavendra, Team India management carried the “wanger” thrower (a device used to simulate bowling in the nets), who had been with the team for seven years, on a commercial flight before being transported to a separate hotel in Sydney to serve his quarantine time.
Also, India have brought another staff member with them to deliver throwdowns in the nets to batsmen but Raghavendra, called “Raghu” by the team, is a prized asset who can fling the ball at batsmen at more than 150km/h.
Raghavendra was reportedly scheduled to join Team India earlier this week but that had been delayed by what turned out to be a false positive test.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age attempted to contact the Indian team’s media manager in Australia, Moulin Parikh, on Wednesday to ascertain when Raghavendra was being let out, but he did not return calls or a text message.
Asked when Raghavendra would be permitted to join the rest of the India touring party, a NSW Health spokesperson said: “NSW Health does not comment on individual cases”.
Ind vs Aus: Virat Kohli lavishes praise on India’s throwdown specialist Raghavendra
Earlier in May, Indian skipper Virat Kohli praised throwdown specialist D. Raghavendra for constantly grilling the Indian batsmen.
In an Instagram Live session, Kohli revealed how Raghavendra’s ability to notch over 150 KPH with the sidearm has led to improvement of Indian batsmen.
He also asserted the latter constantly helps batsmen during several practice sessions.
“I believe the improvement this team has shown while playing fast bowling since 2013 has been because of Raghu. After playing Raghu in nets, when you go into the match, you feel there is a lot of time,” said Kohli.
Raghavendra has been a crucial member of Team India’s support staff since 2013.
A number of eminent Indian batsmen have time and again highlighted his role of giving throwdowns.
“He has good concepts about footwork, bat movement of players. He has improved his skills so much that from sidearm he easily hurls the balls at 155 KPH,” Kohli added.
Meanwhile, India are all set to lock horns with Australia in the opening ODI on Friday. The Men in Blue will play three-match ODI series, followed by three-match T20 series and then four-match Test series during their tour down under.