Canberra: Veteran batsman VVS Laxman was the last to arrive at the optional nets this morning and was seen asking for new balls as the Indians practised throwdowns with old balls here on Saturday.
The three other Indian players present for the optional nets were all batsmen -- Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They all had been practicing against "throwdowns" from the support staff but apparently the balls were not new.
Laxman's query was understandable. With Australia likely to crank up the pace during the Tests and pitches, with or without grass, containing that inherent bounce, the red cherry with lacquer could have offered a better preparation.