With the three-match One-Day International (ODI) cricket series already in India’s pocket, the third rubber against England on Sunday has little importance. But not to former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was seen in full tilt during the team’s optional training session at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

Only nine cricketeres turned out on a sunny morning here, with the likes of captain Virat Kohli and last match’s hero Yuvraj Singh opting out. Chief coach Anil Kumble was also absent from practice, with batting coach Sanjay Bangar present.

But what caught everyone’s eye was Dhoni who was seen hitting the nets — the first thig he did after entering the ground.

The 2011 World Cup winning skipper, who plundered the English attack in Cuttack with a calculative 134 off 122 balls, spent some time at the nets and was later seen assessing the pitch with keen interest. Dhoni also sat on his haunches, feeling the pitch with his hand.

With the ICC Champions Trophy being India’s next 50-over assignment and Dhoni now retired from Tests, the destructive Ranchi iconic wicket-keeeper doesn’t seem to take it easy by the look of things.

Among those present in training were Shikhar Dhawan — battling a sore left thumb — Jasprit Bumrah, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, and Bhuvneshwar Kuamr. Spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja skipped training too.


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