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Balaji undergoes training under Mike Hendrick

CHENNAI, MAY 30. India paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji had a beneficial stint under former English seamer Mike Hendrick during Jolly Rovers' recently concluded two-week tour of England.

Balaji spent five days at Nottingham and Derbyshire, learning the nuances from Hendrick, who was considered an extremely accurate paceman during his playing days.

"He basically told me about the importance of the pause in the delivery stride. This enables your arm to be higher while releasing the ball," said Balaji to The Hindu on Sunday.

Balaji said Hendrick laid a lot of emphasis on consistency and discipline during, both, the indoor and the outdoor sessions. The Englishman also presented Balaji a `box' which he can fix at the top of the off-stump. ``If you are able to hit the top of the off-stump regularly, it means you are bowling well," said the Tamil Nadu paceman.

Rovers had a successful tour, winning three of its four matches, the victories coming against the second elevens of Leicestershire, Nottingham and the SAI Cricket Club. The only setback for Rovers was at the hands of the Bradford eleven.

Balaji played in two of the matches, picking up five wickets in all. He said the game against Nottingham was well contested and remembered the performance of left-arm spinner R. Ramkumar who grabbed five wickets and scored 140 in the same duel. Rovers was in trouble at 50 for four, when Ramkumar and S. Badrinath, who scored a century as well, put the side on the path of victory.

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