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For reflex and footwork, Gambhir turns to mixed martial arts

Gautam Gambhir

Perth: Sidelined for more than a year, opener Gautam Gambhir has now added mixed martial arts and gymnastics to his training regimen here in a bid to stage a comeback into the Indian cricket team.

Gambhir, who played his last two of his 56 Test matches at the Headingley and the Oval was at sea against Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, repeatedly poking outside the off-stump and not even getting a double digit score in his four innings. He was dropped from the team after that.

Gambhir, who has travelled to Australia to finetune his technique, is batting extensively at the nets under the watchful eyes of former Australian cricketers Justin Langer and Geoff Marsh.

The most interesting aspect of training is practising mixed martial arts and gymnastics, which not only break the monotony of regular nets but also can be used for different reason.

While gymnastics can make ones’ footwork nimble, martial arts can improve the reflex. Footwork and reflex are two essential components, which is also needed to be supplemented by proper balance while playing fast bowlers.

While getting a personal coach for ironing out technical flaws is in vogue amongst Indian cricketers these days, Praveen Amre has been one of the sought after domestic private batting coaches.

But Gambhir has decided to do it in his own way as he has ventured into this West Australian capital to train under former Australia opener Langer, who is considered to be one of the finest coaches in international cricket fraternity.

Langer, who has been a batting coach with Australian national team, has been the coach of Western Australia in Sheffield Shield and for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash.

In fact, last week, Gambhir tweeted a picture of himself with Langer and assistant coach Geoff Marsh at the indoor nets of WACA.

“At Perth with Geoff Marsh and JL. Great guys, very warm and welcoming. Thanks for having me over here for training,” Gambhir had tweeted.

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