Series in pocket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his teammates on Friday let their hair down and went for sea-fishing, whale safari and sky walk on the eve of their inconsequential fifth and final ODI against New Zealand in Auckland . Friday the 13th bore no significance to the Indians, who went out in small groups to explore the adventure spots in and around the city while some others went on cruise.
Dhoni set out with physical and mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton to try his hand and patience at deep-sea fishing. Rahul Dravid, who has a penchant for the call of the wild, joined them in their mission to catch a 40-pound fish.
Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman, Dinesh Karthik, Laxmipathi Balaji and Praveen Kumar tried their skill at a 90-minute sky walk at the City Sky tower while Zaheer Khan chose to climb the Harbour Bridge.
Coach Gary Kirsten, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Gautam Gambhir and Munaf Patel preferred to play it safe and set out on a dolphin and whale safari. Asked if it was it safe to indulge in such extremities on the eve of an international match, Kirsten said, “We got a 48-day tour. It is pretty much cricket all-in and all-out. You have one or two days between the games. We certainly encourage less practice time when you are on the road because you are in game time already.
“Mental freshness is more important. We create a lot of optional sessions so those who feel like coming down are available to do some work. At least when it comes to match time, we know the guys are in a happy space and they are comfortable with how they have gone about their business in the two days before. And they are ready to go and play another game of cricket for their country.”