Australia return to training, bowl bouncers

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Melbourne, Dec 5: Australian cricketers returned to the training ground Friday for the first time since the tragic passing of Phil Hughes and there was no lack of aggression and spirit with the pacers not shy of hurling bouncers.

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For most of the players in the squad it was their first practice session after close to one-and-half weeks.

Australia return to training, bowl bouncers

With the first Test of the four-match series against India starting December 9, the Aussies looked to utilising every moment.

Having bid farewell to their friend and teammate at an emotional service in Macksville Wednesday, the Australians turned their focus to on-field activities.

After warming up, which included drills and some dancing, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood started bowling in the nets.

Hazlewood looked the most lively of the three, hurling short-pitched deliveries to first Chris Rogers and then Shane Watson.

Even the Marsh brothers were at it, with Mitchell's short-ball inducing a false stroke from older brother Shaun.

It was not all about the short-stuff but it was enough to suggest that the passing away of Hughes would not affect the aggression of the Aussies on the field.

"That's the way we've always played, (We will play) normal Test cricket, good hard Test cricket like we always want to play as an Australian team," Coach Darren Lehman was quoted as saying in the Cricket Australia (CA) website.

"We've got to play a certain way, we know that, to get the best out of our players and ourselves and our team. They want to get out there and do what they've done for many years, play cricket and enjoy the game that we all love," he added.

IANS

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