The prospects of India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan playing in the second Test at Trent Bridge seems to be remote.
“He has shown a considerable improvement and we would take a call on him on the eve of the match in consultation with the team physio,” stated team manager Anirudh Choudhary.
But anyone who witnessed Indian team’s training session knew that the manager statement was far from convincing.
Zaheer bowled 13-odd overs at the Lord’s before a strain in the right hamstring forced him to sit out and severely handicapped the Indian bowling attack as England thrashed India by 196 runs.
As soon as Zaheer arrived at the training session with his teammates, the prying eyes of the Indian media contingent was on the injured speedster.
Long after almost all the Indian players had their nets, Zaheer came out in company with team physio Ashish Kaushik.
He did a few rounds of lap of the ground; did some sprints under the physio’s observation and then picked up his jumper, only to disappear again inside the dressing room.
His bearing wasn’t the one of man who is looking to bowl for India in 48 hours.
Ishant Sharma didn’t bowl a delivery in anger and it was apparent he had a few other personal issues to handle-like shaving off his flowing hair which have been much like his personal statement in the last four years.
His new look created a huge buzz among the electronic media.
Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir were two of the other notable cricketers who had fitness issues during the Lord’s Test.
Tendulkar, unlike his second innings appearance, was crisp and smartly shaven and was one of the first ones to walk to the nets. Gambhir too look eager to have a hit even though the bowling on offer wasn’t great shake.
Ishant didn’t bowl at all and neither did Munaf and Sreesanth, after bowling a few serious overs.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, certainly rattled by his recent batting failures, indulged himself in some furious hitting down the ground. Abhinav Mukund, the young opener, later tried to brush up his fielding. By the looks, he would be at point during the second Test and not forward short leg where he hasn’t, truth be told, distinguished himself.