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Ishant will play opening Test: Eric Simons

India's bowling coach settles raging debate; tells MiD DAY that sharma, who had an ankle problem in a recent tour game, will be back to bowling at full steam soon

Ishant Sharma hit the nets when Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane were batting in the second warm-up match against CA Chairman's XI here at Manuka Oval yesterday. Ishant though, healing from a troublesome ankle, took a few strides and rolled his arm over at best, having been advised two days' rest by the doctor he consulted during the course of the first warm-up match last week.


Ishant Sharma

"I am doing a lot better. Thank you," he said when asked about his recovery. India's bowling coach Eric Simons, the longest serving member of the current coaching staff, shares a good relationship with Ishant. "He's doing alright, and should be back to bowling at full steam very soon. There's no reason why he can't play the first Test," Simons told MiD DAY yesterday.


India bowling coach Eric Simons

Simons, who has been with the Indian side for over two years, is more than just a bowling coach. On Sunday, he was seen talking to Rahane about his batting for close to 15 minutes. "I love working with this team. We have come on this tour with a very good looking bowling attack. All the bowlers are in good rhythm and can't wait to get out there for the real thing," he said.

The former South Africa fast bowler was particularly impressed with Zaheer Khan's much-anticipated return to Test cricket. Zaheer last got through a Test in Cape Town in January. He limped off on Day One of July's Lord's Test. Simons said: "I am very happy with the way Zaheer's coming along. He has definitely got his rhythm going. He's recovered really quickly, a little faster than I expected."

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