Fit-again Munaf all set to return
The trainer says the pacer completed all the fitness drills and has left it to John Gloster to give him a clean chit.cricket Updated: Jun 08, 2007 19:27 IST
Right-arm pacer Munaf Patel was all set to return to the Indian team after getting a clean chit from trainer Gregory King on his performance at the five-day fitness specific camp for the bowlers that concluded in Mysore on Friday.
King said that Patel did not show any ill-effects of the back injury that forced him out of the Bangladesh tour last month during the camp but left it to physio John Gloster to give the bowler the final all-clear.
"Munaf is looking good and coming along well. Obviously John (Gloster) will have to assess him at the next stage, but he completed all the fitness drills with the same intensity as everyone else", the South African said.
"And he didn't have any serious injury in Bangladesh. It was a very short tour and he was sent back as he was not going to play in the next game."
The injury-prone Patel broke down during India's tour of Bangladesh last month after complaining of lower back pain and was replaced by Delhi rookie Ishant Sharma before the second Test at Chittagong.
Patel was also replaced by teammate S Sreesanth in the Asia XI team in the Twenty20 fixture against Africa XI held in Bangalore on June 5 as part of the Afro-Asia Cup tournament.
King believed that there was room to improve in the overall fitness levels of the bowlers.
"To be frank, the fitness level can be better. That's why camps like this is good and it helps us to assess as to where they stand and try get them on the track," he said.
"Those guys who are below the mark we have tried to get them back on track. But as a fitness trainer I think, all the guys could be in a better shape."
"Fitness level of the bowlers is what it had been in the previous camps. I don't see too many injuries happen and I don't think there no more or no less injuries. Lots of time we can't get the right reason behind these injuries.
"I like to see improvement in certain areas as each guy has been spoken to individually what he needs to do."
During the camp the bowlers were taught lessons in communication skills and leadership qualities at the Infosys Leadership Institute situated inside the campus.
Taking a lot of positives from the camp, King said that overall everyone was happy with the way it went as they were able to achieve goals set prior to it.
"We have been very happy with the way the camp has gone. We have been able to achieve everything that we set to achieve. We have done what we usually do in a fitness camp; assess the fitness of players," he said.
"(Bowling coach Venkatesh) Prasad had a one-on-one session with the bowlers. All we have done is to make sure that the guys get down to the fitness programme and understand their individual programmes.
"Apart from the routine work, we have a very good session with the leadership programme run by the people in Infosys. It allowed Prasad to see the guys interacting in different situations.
"In any team environment you will have to communicate with each other, working towards a common objective and these sessions are designed in improving communication within the group."
The camp was held ahead of the Indian team's trip to Ireland and England later this month.
The squad members are to be chosen on June 12 before a cricket-specific camp follows for the selected players at Bangalore's National Cricket Academy from June 13-16.
First Published: Jun 08, 2007 17:14 IST