They could be breathing down each others’ necks in their marquee World T20 clash on Saturday, but a few of Indian and Pakistani cricketers on Thursday showed great camaraderie and friendship as they trained simultaneously at the same venue in Kolkata.
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Indian left-handed batsman Suresh Raina and senior Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik were seen hugging and patting each other, shaking hands during optional practice sessions, making it a perfect photo opportunity ahead of their much hyped Super 10 Group 2 match at the Eden Gardens.
Seeing the left-hander, Malik came to greet him as the duo were seen engaged in talks for a few minutes before going back to each other’s camp as both the rivals camps had simultaneous session.
A day after their morale-boosting 55-run victory over Bangladesh, the Pakistan team had a training session without some of their batsmen and bowlers, while India had Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Pawan Negi in their session conducted by batting coach Sanjay Bangar.
Malik, who too had come under fire along with skipper Shahid Afridi for their “more love in India than in Pakistan” comments, also gave away his pair of gloves to the local seamer Rajiv Keshri and obliged them with selfies.
Pakistani trio of Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad who contributed in their big win on Wednesday, however, skipped the optional nets.
The left-arm pace trio of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz also opted out of the optional net session to take rest.
As for the Indian camp, the duo of Raina and Rahane concentrated on batting as they faced left-arm spinner Negi.