The drizzle that lashed the city on Friday afternoon did little to dampen the passion of the fans. Although aware that all tickets for Sunday's India-England match have been sold out, there were still curious faces around the Chinnaswamy Stadium, hoping against hope that something could be worked out.
Inside the stadium, it was a story of optimism of a different kind. The Indians trained long and hard at full strength, trying to put behind the issue of lack of fitness. It wasn't as good as they expected though, as Virender Sehwag took a painful knock on the ribs. The sight of him lying on the ground with the physio rushing towards him triggered concern.
Hurt but okay
Batting at the centre strip of the National Cricket Academy complex, Sehwag was up against Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and a few local bowlers. The batsman had only recovered from a knock on his knee during his innings of 175 against Bangladesh on Wednesday. It was one of the local bowlers who sparked off the news of the day when one of his deliveries kicked off good length and hit Sehwag bang on the left side of his rib. The batsman was in visible pain, flat on the floor. Nehra immediately drew the attention of physio Nitin Patel.
Patel inspected Sehwag, who left the nets and was seen sitting under an umbrella for the next few minutes. There was an ice pack around the area of concern, and after a while, he left the stadium in a car, long before the rest finished practice.
There were speculations that Sehwag had been taken to a hospital for an X-ray. Team manager Ranjib Biswal cleared those doubts. "Sehwag didn't have an X-ray or MRI scan. He left early because he got hurt and there is nothing to worry about him," said Biswal.
Later, the BCCI issued a clarification. "Virender Sehwag was hit on the left ribcage in the nets. He is currently under medication. However, he is expected to be fit for the match against England on Sunday," said a statement.
Nehra in full flow
For the first time since missing the match against Bangladesh due to back problem, Nehra bowled at normal rhythm. The left-armer operated from his normal run-up and looked fine. He was going full tilt and there was no visible discomfort.
Plastic ball training
For the second day running, the Indian batsmen batted on a concrete pitch, with plastic balls being thrown at them from a shorter distance. It looked as if they were getting used to the extra bounce and swing.