With question marks hanging over his fitness, Ishant Sharma’s presence at the full training session on Sunday failed to allay those doubts, as the lanky pacer had a light workout and didn't bowl a single delivery.
However, the team management was confident that the speedster would be fit before the Boxing Day Test and that no cover was required.
“The physio is working on him. He's been advised rest up to Tuesday by the doctor. He's working on strength training and his condition is improving,” said India’s media manager GS Walia. He added that there was no question of a calling up a cover for the pacer as he is on the mend and will be fit ahead of the first Test of the series.
In the groove
Although he didn’t bowl on Sunday, Ishant did take part in a few light fielding drills and later played the football match with the rest of the squad.
However, even that was very much light-hearted practice as Ishant stood as the goalkeeper — moving little and ducking and getting out of the way every time the ball was hit in his direction.
Karnataka pacer Vinay Kumar, who could make his debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26 if Ishant fails to recover, was confident of stepping into his shoes.
“I don’t think there’s pressure on me, my job is to go out there and play to my strengths. My strength is bowling wicket to wicket, and try to stick to the basics,” said Kumar, who had come in as a replacement for injured Varun Aaron.