In what must spell as positive news for Indian fans, injury-prone speedster Ishant Sharma stepped out of the team bus for a full-fledged India practice session yesterday. It was the first time when fielding coach Trevor Penney got involved, conducted heavy fielding drills. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and R Ashwin, who skipped the previous warm-up tie against CA Chairman's XI, got into the act too. In fact, all 17 members of India's Test squad assembled together at the Manuka Oval for the first time since arriving in two separate batches last week.
Healing time: Ishant Sharma during India's first warm-up match at the
Manuka Oval. Pic/Getty Images
They played a game of football. Ishant was the designated goalkeeper, since he's been advised two days of rest by his doctor. The lanky fast bowler's movements were a little restricted, but he appeared in good spirits nonetheless. A little later, India's media manager GS Walia gave an update on his injury.
"The physio is working on him currently...the doctor has advised him rest up to Tuesday. He is currently working on strengthening exercises. He's improving and quite comfortable at the moment. He is recovering quickly," he said.
Walia also dismissed the possibility of a cover being flown in from India for Ishant, who was also ruled out of today's second warm-up game. However, since the match is not a first-class fixture, a fit Ishant can be drafted in to bowl on for the second or third day. Zaheer though confirmed his availability for the match during a press conference on Thursday.