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Mind on cricket,eye on London

As Games get underway,the talk is all about Bolt and Deepika in the Indian dressing room

Written by Devendra Pandey | Colombo | Published: July 27, 2012 12:56 am

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he would not catch the opening ceremony,scheduled to start late on Friday,but would keenly follow archer Deepika Kumari,a world no. 1 and a medal hope.

“The opening ceremony will be late on Friday night and as we are playing the next day,I will not be able to watch it. But whenever we can make time,we will definitely watch the Indian athletes compete. I’m hoping everyone does well,but especially Deepika,” Dhoni says,flashing the victory sign in support of the archer from his state of Jharkhand.

It’s not just Dhoni who’s in the Olympics mood. Suresh Raina,Virat Kohli,Irfan Pathan and Ravichandran Aswhin too will be following their favourites.

Raina recounted how he once accompanied silver medallist at the Athens Games Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to a shooting range in Mehrauli,Delhi to try his hand at double trap. The experience,he said,helped him see how demanding the sport was. “You need to be at your best at a particular day at a particular time. It’s a tough sport,you need so much concentration,” said the southpaw. And then Raina goes on to list out more or less everyone from the contingent as his picks. “I’m desperately praying Mary Kom wins gold. Abhinav Bindra,Saina Nehwal and Sushil Kumar too. Our hockey team should also do well.”

Kohli’s preferences are not so diverse. He says he likes watching the track and field events,especially the sprinters. Had the cricketers not been playing,he says he would have packed his bags for London. “The intensity during the sprint events is so high. You can see it on their faces. A few seconds and everything is over,” says Kohli. And if any one wouldn’t mind the late hours,it is,of course Kohli. “I will be watching the opening ceremony for sure. Such an event comes once in four years and nobody wants to miss it,” Kohli said.

Pathan is excited that the archery event will be held at Lord’s,the mecca of cricket. Pathan also says that after Beijing,he wanted to help out athletes who were struggling to fund themselves,but that it didn’t work out.

“I wanted to donate some money to athletes who are talented and can do well for the country but things didn’t worked out. So I donated some portion of money to the schools back home,” Pathan said.

Ashwin is one of the few players in the side who is updated on most of the Olympics related news.

“I’m a big fan of Nehwal,she is amazing. I always see her games and have even noted down the dates and timings of her games as well. I’m excited about 100 meters and it will be a tough contest this time; let’s see if Bolt wins or not,” the spinner said.

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