Centurion: 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 in Centurion from 26 December.
India arrive via a chartered flight on Friday morning after three days of hard quarantine in Mumbai. The players had to isolate for a day in a resort in Centurion 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.
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.
How did #TeamIndia recharge their batteries ahead of their first training session in Jo'Burg?
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 18, 2021
The visitors are staying in a resort which is entirely booked for them by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to ensure a strict bubble is maintained through out 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."
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had in principle agreed to a 25 to 30 per cent increase in the monthly retainers of the players who will be given contracts.
Stephen Fry, who has been president of mental health charity Mind for more than a decade, is also a playwright, comedian and film director.
The competition organised by Cricket Hong Kong will comprise of six teams which will have players from all around the globe.