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Moonwalks & Hard Yards: How Indians Are Warming Up for Davis Cup Tie vs Pakistan in Freezing Nur-Sultan

Davis Cup, India vs Pakistan: The temperature is expected to be around minus 9 degree celsius when India play Pakistan on Friday and Saturday.

News18 Sports

Updated:November 27, 2019, 2:13 PM IST
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Moonwalks & Hard Yards: How Indians Are Warming Up for Davis Cup Tie vs Pakistan in Freezing Nur-Sultan
Indian team is in Nur-Sultan for Davis Cup tie vs Pakistan. (Photo Credit: Sundar Iyer)

The temperature in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan is hovering around minus 10 degree celsius but the spirit in the Indian camp remains upbeat ahead of their Davis Cup tie against Pakistan, on Friday and Saturday.

After much controversy and a delay, India and Pakistan are finally playing the tie in Nur-Sultan even though it was originally supposed to be a home tie for Pakistan in Islamabad.

Owing to the tensions between the two neighbours following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the tie was postponed from September to November on the insistence of All India Tennis Association (AITA). The Indian federation maintained that Islamabad was not a safe venue for the match and eventually, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) moved the tie out of the Pakistan capital.

The Indian team is currently in Nur-Sultan preparing for the tie this weekend, along with some fun around the streets of the city.

The team coach Zeeshan Ali said that they expected it to be as cold as it is and everyone is just enjoying the experience.

"That was expected. It's really quite cold out here, the river is frozen and there is snow everywhere. But nobody is cribbing about it. They're just enjoying the entire experience," he is quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

And surely the players are soaking in the dipping mercury and are having some fun to keep themselves warm.

Sumit Nagal posted a few videos on his Instagram account, where he is seen out on the streets of Nur-Sultan doing a hilarious mock interview along with team member Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and physio Yash Pandey.

Yash is seen holding a broom as the microphone while Nagal dances on the song Ghungroo from the movie 'War'. Nagal also said these are perfect conditions to practice moon walk.

Despite the fun moments, players are doing the hard yards on the indoor court in preparation for the tie. While it is extremely cold outside, it is helping the players that the area has a good heating system.

"The place is well insulated. It's remarkable technology because there's a big window here, and we can see the snow and -20 odd degree temperature outside, but inside the boys are walking and training in T-shirts and shorts," Indian Express quoted Zeeshan Ali. "As a result, the court itself is medium to fast, which suits us. The ball is moving well, and it's almost like playing in normal weather here."

Team physio Pandey elaborated how all the players have been taking care of their bodies and the team's curriculum in order to stay injury-free.

They've been doing a lot of activities to ensure they're really warm before hitting the ball. No one wants any injuries. We did a 40-minute warm-up today, cool down lasted an hour-and-a-half which included half an hour of stretching and an hour of massage. It differs from player to player as well. If someone has any minor stiffness, we work on that as well," Pandey was quoted as saying by Firstpost.

"For example, Sumit Nagal, being a singles player, requires a lot more work than a Leander Paes. But with Paes, an older player, he knows there will always be more wear-and-tear and recovery will be slower. In both cases we have to work hard and make sure both are fully recovered. So in this scenario, it is a young player hitting plenty of balls against an older player who is not playing as many balls but still, for his age, is quite much. Even though both are super fit, we have to work on both of them equally."

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