Downcast Indian cricketers stay put in hotel rooms

Kolkata, March 17 (IANS) Downcast after the loss against New Zealand in their World Twenty 20 lung-opener, the Indian cricketers largely kept to themselves in the team hotel here on Thursday.

Three of the players went out to the Eden Gardens ground for an hour-long optional practice session, while their team-mates kept themselves confined to the hotel rooms.

Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Pawan Negi sweated it out at the Eden, where India would take on Pakistan in a high-octane Group 2 clash on Saturday. The Shahid Afridi-led Pakistan side are upbeat after a clinical 55-run win over Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Raina and Rahane had a brief discussion with batting coach Sanjay Bangar and then struck some big blows in the nets.

The hosts were shocked by the Kiwis at Nagpur on Tuesday. On a wicket that had spin and bounce, India were bowled out for 79 chasing a target of 127 runs.

“The team is obviously very upset after the loss against New Zealand. No team is happy after such a loss,” sources close to the team told IANS.

“Excepting Raina, Rahane and Negi, the others took the day off and had some rest so that they can be ready for the battle against Pakistan,” the source said.

“Tomorrow, apart from the training, they have no other plans. They are scheduled to head back to the team hotel after training,” the source added.

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