Indian, English teams arrive to traditional welcome
Kochi, Apr 4 (UNI) Amid beating of the traditional 'Chenda' drums, the Indian and English cricket teams were accorded a warm reception at the Nedumbassery airport and at the team hotel here today.
Both teams arrived here from Goa to play the fourth ODI at the Nehru stadium on April 6.
They were given a traditional Kerala-style welcome at the airport, where officials of the Kerala Cricket Association were present.
At the team hotel, Taj Malabar, situated on an island far from the hustle and bustle of this crowded city, the teams were received with traditional honours.
Karnataka opening batsman Robin Uthappa, who was included in the Indian team for the last four ODIs, in place of out-of-form Gautam Gambhir, also arrived here this morning.
Middle-order batsman Md Kaif, eager to practice his way back to form, and Y Venugopala Rao turned up at the nets. Other Indian team members and the English players chose to take a day off from nets.
In his nearly hour long practice in searing heat, Kaif looked in solid touch as he hit the ball from the meat of the bat.
Kaif, who had four 'ducks' in the last five innings, has the backing of coach Greg Chappel and skipper Rahul Dravid and would be looking forward to be among the runs.
Badly in need of a good score to cement his place in the team ahead of the World Cup, Kaif appeared confident. He asked bowlers in the nets to pitch short and negotiated them with elan with short arm pulls.
Venugopala Rao too seemed to be in good touch during the nearly one hour session in the nets.