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Full strength, but far from full flow

The fitness concerns are being put to rest one by one. Sachin Tendulkar was out there on Wednesday and on Thursday, Virender Sehwag made most of the nets session. And to a lesser extent Ashish Nehra. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay reports.

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2011 01:01 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

The fitness concerns are being put to rest one by one. Sachin Tendulkar was out there on Wednesday and on Thursday, Virender Sehwag made most of the nets session. And to a lesser extent Ashish Nehra.

The opener had been out since cracking 175 against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday, after chopping a pull onto his left knee. The fast bowler missed that game due to a back problem. Neither had trained since then.

The Indian team was out at full strength at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday morning. Sehwag and Nehra took part in the fielding and catching drills, and the batsman spent a long time at the nets.

Spin training
Lofting the spinners into the stands with ease while batting at the centre of the main stadium before switching over to the nets at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) complex, Sehwag batted against pace and spin. His left knee didn't seem to give him any problem even after a local bowler hit him there.

Nehra in focus
Nehra was watched more carefully. After the fielding drills, the left-arm pacer spent time with former India pacer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad. It was not known what transpired between the two but Nehra then bowled in the nets for the first time in a few days. The bowler missed the opener against Bangladesh because of a back problem.

Not that he was going full tilt though. Nehra merely limbered up from about four to five steps and released the ball. The number of steps went up after a while but he was not giving it his all.

"Oh no. I was just keeping it simple today and not going the distance. It felt good, bowling after a few days," Nehra told Hindustan Times.

Sreesanth hits Yuvraj
Sharing the same net with Nehra was Sreesanth, who has been in focus since he went for plenty against Bangladesh, was again in the spotlight. He looked determined to make amends, running in at full steam and letting the ball rip. All was fine until it took place.

A beamer from Sreesanth caught Yuvraj Singh completely by surprise as he was struck on the helmet, which saved him from being hit on his right ear. Yuvraj was down on his knees immediately even as Sreesanth, Nehra and the team physio Nitin Patel rushed to him.

The otherwise swanky southpaw removed his helmet and stood there for some time before leaving the nets.

The import couldn't be deciphered, but Yuvraj had a few words to tell Sreesanth, who looked apologetic. Team sources said the left-handed batsman didn't suffer any serious injury.

Yuvraj, however, didn't take any further part in the day's proceedings.