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Practice begins sans Dinda

Calcutta: Having been shaken up by an early wake-up call, the senior Bengal players began practice in the Pankaj Gupta Indoor facility at the Eden Gardens premises, on Monday, to iron out the creases before the season proper begins.

The mixture of youth and experience didn’t bring desired results in the Buchi Babu Invitational Tournament, where the CAB XI were winless.

Most of the seniors, including captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha, were present in the first day’s practice session. However, speedster Ashok Dinda will only be able to join his teammates after September 10 as he and fellow pacer Veer Pratap Singh are in Chennai to attend a fast-bowlers’ camp at the MRF Pace Foundation.

The camp is being organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Foundation, under the guidance of Australian pace great Glenn McGrath. A total of 11 players will attend the camp. Apart from Dinda, Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey are the other notable names.

Coach Ashok Malhotra will miss the first few days of practice due to personal engagements. He is likely to join his wards on Friday.

Captain Shukla refuses to harp on the unimpressive show in Chennai and is focusing on the way forward. “There’s no point looking backů We will be not be helping ourselves like that. We have enough talent in our squad to perform better. We had reached the Ranji Trophy semi-finals last season and I believe we have the capability of doing better this time,” he said.