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He’s out! Kohli’s right-hand man set free after 24 days in quarantine

After uncertainty about when he would be set free sources said “Raghu”, as the quietly-spoken sidearm specialist is known by the India team, was being let out on Thursday night.

With the three-match T20 series starting at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday night, he will reunite with Kohli and the tourists in Sydney on Saturday.

D Raghavendra delivers throwdowns on India's tour of Australia in 2018-19.

D Raghavendra delivers throwdowns on India’s tour of Australia in 2018-19.Credit:Getty Images

Raghavendra wasn’t the first or only member of a cricket squad or support staff to have to quarantine upon entering Australia for the summer but his 24 days were more than most.

One person who did serve longer was Australia coach Justin Langer, who spent 14 days at the new hotel at Adelaide Oval after returning from the limited-overs tour of England in September and then another fortnight in a Perth hotel because of his home state’s hard border.

Langer, however, was at least permitted to train with players while isolating in Adelaide.

Raghavendra hasn’t had that small luxury in three and a half weeks staring at four walls.

His release will be welcomed by the Indian side. He is not a player but is a rarity in world cricket in that he is a full-time touring practitioner of the “wanger”, a modified version of a tennis ball launcher for dogs that is used to fling cricket balls at batsmen in the training nets. His close association with Kohli and India’s other leading batsmen has led to thousands of words being written about him in the Indian pres.

Australia and most other sides don’t have their own travelling throwdowns man but Raghavendra is a hugely valued member of the Indian staff for his ability to repeatedly hurl balls at more than 150kmh to batsmen, giving them crucial practice for facing fast bowling since he joined them on the road full-time in 2013.

He was due to begin training with the Indian batsmen over the weekend, when the travelling party will split up, with Kohli leading the T20 side in the second and third matches of the 20-over series against Australia at the SCG while other players take the field against Australia A in a red-ball warm-up game at Drummoyne Oval starting on Sunday.

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