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Gambhir fighting to get fit for first one-dayer

india Updated: Aug 25, 2011 23:43 IST
Dinesh Chopra
Dinesh Chopra

Things are not looking good at the moment for India opener Gautam Gambhir. The left-hander has been struggling with poor vision, clogged ears and concussion ever since he suffered the terrible fall while attempting to catch a skier off Kevin Pietersen's bat in the fourth and final Test at the Oval. However, the MRI scan done on him in London gave him an "all clear".

Sources in the team claim that Gambhir has been struggling to sight the ball, run or even watch television. Any attempt of trying to concentrate on one point has left the 29-year-old with severe nausea.

It is a situation where tests don't highlight anything but the patient concerned suffers from related symptoms.

All this has now put a question mark over his participation in Friday's day-night practice game against Kent. There are also doubts if he will attain full fitness ahead of the first match of the One-day International series against England, to be played at Chester-Le-Street in Durham on September 3.

On Thursday, there could have been positive signs when Gambhir had a knock for about 45 minutes at the indoor nets here. But after the session with India's bowling coach Eric Simons, it was learnt that he was far away from being 100 percent match fit.

He was struggling to pick the line of the ball, its pace and trajectory. Hampered by poor vision, he tended to stay on the backfoot to deliveries that were full in length to give him that extra time, and an extra yard, to sight the ball.

All this when Simons was merely giving throw downs, which are far removed from the challenges the English bowling line-up can pose for the batsman. With their height and movement, English pacers have already proved a handful. Later during the innings break, Gambhir even came out for what looked to be a quasi fitness test with a member of the support staff. He was seen running a few paces on the square in a vertical line, may be to gauge if the nausea or concussion return.

(Dinesh Chopra works for ESPN's Sportscenter)