Injury scare for Ishant during a warm-up drill | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Injury scare for Ishant during a warm-up drill

It was a challenge India's new ball bowling pair was not prepared for, and could have done without as they went about a vigorous game of soccer at the Windsor Park Stadium on Monday evening. N Ananthanarayanan reports.

cricket Updated: Jul 06, 2011 00:36 IST
N Ananthanarayanan

It was a challenge India's new ball bowling pair was not prepared for, and could have done without as they went about a vigorous game of soccer at the Windsor Park Stadium on Monday evening.

Praveen Kumar went for a header but only managed to connect with Ishant Sharma's face, leaving the tall pace spearhead with a cut under his left eye that immediately puffed up with a visible blood clot. Ishant appeared shaken and had to be helped to the dressing room.

Praveen, a revelation in the Test series with his swing bowling, went down first and was rubbing the side of his head but re-joined the game soon after. Ishant, fresh from a maiden 10-wicket haul in the drawn second Test in Barbados, is vital to India's bowling plans.

Former skipper Rahul Dravid told reporters an hour later that the injury was minor and Ishant would be fine. The bowler appeared to have recovered as he walked to the team bus with a thin plaster over the injury.

India team members play soccer as a warm-up and bonding exercise and there seems to be a rule that a player must not keep the ball beyond four touches. But the accident 48 hours before the final Test left one wondering whether it was advisable for cricketers to play a contact sport.

A serious injury to Ishant would have been a big setback for the Dominica Test, with the England tour coming up next.

India used to play volleyball and kho-kho previously. Yuvraj Singh was left with a serious knee injury while playing the touch-and-go game in Mohali during the ICC Champions Trophy in October 2006. It took him months to recover and he could never regain the athleticism he used to show while fielding at point.

The players, who had no nets on Monday, continued to play for some more time but the players were watchful this time. VVS Laxman, who needs to manage his brittle back, kept away as usual.