Bracing up for 'green top' test
Come the second Test, Indian fans will see Ishant Sharma in a new avatar. Gone is the flowing mane, as the lanky fast bowler appeared for practice at Trent Bridge in a well-kept look. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. After the loss comes the brickbratscricket Updated: Jul 28, 2011 02:18 IST
Come the second Test, Indians fans will see Ishant Sharma in a new avatar. Gone is the flowing mane, as the lanky fast bowler appeared for practice at Trent Bridge in a well-kept look.
Asked if the hair cut had something to do with luck, he quipped: “I just felt like getting a hair cut.” Luck or not, Ishant will be more comfortable in his follow-through as the curls will no longer block his view as keeps an eye on the target.
With Zaheer Khan a doubtful starter for the second Test, the mantle of India’s spearhead has fallen on Ishant. For him, the key is to recover physically and mentally, before Friday, from the marathon effort at Lord's.
Praveen Kumar and Ishant shared the extra workload and Wednesday’s nets were meant to put them at ease. While Ishant chose to rest, Praveen bowled from a couple of paces, to get a feel of the release. Severely hurt by injuries and illness at Lord's, the focus ahead at Trent Bridge is whether a full-strength India can take on England.
From what was on view, of the three suspects, Zaheer doesn't have a chance of making it. A fully-recovered Sachin Tendulkar is raring to go, while Gautam Gambhir, though in some discomfort, will play.
The official take on Zaheer’s injury status was: “He has recovered considerably and we will take a call on the eve of the Test.”
The left-arm seamer worked out with physio, Ashish Kaushik but didn’t touch the ball. Tendulkar had an intense throw-down session, and was the first to emerge with his pads on and among the last to remove them.
Gambhir’s preparation was restricted to a brief batting session. The other three left-handers in the side, Suresh Raina, Abhinav Mukund and Yuvraj Singh, had extended batting sessions while skipper MS Dhoni focussed on is big shots against spinners.
At the end of the session, the groundsmen lifted the covers and the layer of green signalled that India are up for a severe test. But the determined look in the visitors’ eyes indicated that they were ready for the challenge.