Sydney: Cheteshwar Pujara, who has not played competitive cricket since March, had an extensive net session on Thursday and looked comfortable facing the fast bowlers as he geared up for what promises to be a gruelling Test series against Australia next month.
Pujara batted both at the side nets and the centre strip where he faced Ishan Porel, Kartik Tyagi, who are with the team as net bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin.
The BCCI posted a short video of Pujara's net session on social media.
The Indian team is allowed to train in its 14-day quarantine, having arrived here last week. The ODI and T20 series begins 27 November and will be followed by a four-match Test series, starting with a day-nighter from 17 December in Adelaide.
While most India players competed in the IPL, Test regulars Pujara and Hanuma Vihari joined the national team bubble in the UAE before reaching Australia.
Pujara, who last played the Ranji Trophy final, was instrumental in India's historic win over Australia two years ago and his role at number three will be of immense value, especially after Virat Kohli's departure following the first Test at Adelaide Oval.
Kohli would be heading home to be there for the birth for his first child.
Throwdown specilaist Raghu checks in:
India's throwdown specialist Raghu, who could not fly with the other support staff as he tested positive for COVID-19 back home, has landed here and is undergoing his quarantine before joining the team.
"He has to undergo a 14-day quarantine as per the local government guidelines. After that, he will join the team," said a BCCI source.
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The duo played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team and Zampa, who is in Australia's limited-overs squad for the upcoming ODI and T20 series against India starting on Friday, said he forged a bond with Kohli over meat-free eating, coffee and cricket.
Kohli, who is heading family way in January, will be returning after playing the six white ball games and the opening day/night Test scheduled in Adelaide.
The Indian cricket team is currently in Australia for a full series that includes three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals followed by a four-Test rubber. The tour will start with the ODIs here on 27 November.