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World Twenty20: 'Barefoot football' session leaves Yuvraj Singh's ankle in a bandage

DHAKA: India and South Africa exhibited different training methods at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday ahead of Friday's semifinal clash. 

While the Proteas had a full nets session which lasted for almost two and a half hours, including 20 minutes of football and cricket skills, the Indian team, sans their coffins, played only football for almost 70 minutes. 

Asked why the team was playing barefoot, Dr RN Baba, the team's media manager, said, "It is just for fun. You guys saw how much the players were enjoying it. It was as per the trainer's (Sudarshan) suggestion." 

Experts like interim BCCI president Sunil Gavaskar have repeatedly criticised the team for indulging in non-cricket drills prior to training after Yuvraj Singh injured his knee while playing kho-kho prior to a knock-out match of the ICC Champions Trophy in Mohali in November 2006. 

Rohit Sharma's Test debut also got delayed by almost three-and-a-half years after he twisted his ankle while playing football ahead of the first Test against South Africa in Nagpur in February 2010. 

Yuvraj injured himself again while playing football on Tuesday and was the last to leave the arena, with his left ankle bandaged. He hobbled his way into the team bus. 

Asked about the status of the injury, the team physio Nitin Patel said, "I won't answer anything. I am not authorised to speak." Dr Baba then confirmed that the injury was not serious. 

India skipper MS Dhoni, who was in fine goal-scoring form netting three goals, was also seen cooling his feet in the ice-box. Media persons asked him how he was feeling, to which he gave a two-handed thumbs up. 

Asked why the team was playing football without shoes, he replied, "Kya kare yaar, paise khatam ho gaye (What to do, we are all out of money)." 

Now that's something we will all believe.

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