Kumble, Ishant to be assessed tomorrow
A final call on the availability of captain Anil Kumble and young speedster Ishant Sharma for the second cricket Test against South Africa will be taken tomorrow after a fitness assessment of both players.
Both Kumble and Ishant bowled decent spells at the optional nets at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Motera, and the Indian team management will be anxious to have them fit in the wake of Sachin Tendulkar's unavailability due to a groin injury.
Only seven players, including Murali Kartik who is recovering from an ankle injury, came to the optional practice session today and the latter was put through his paces mildly by team physiotherapist Paul Close.
Kumble, who has a groin niggle sustained in Chennai, and Ishant recovering from an injured finger and toe - bowled at the nets mostly against Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif who had lengthy stints with the bat.
Kumble later indicated that he was feeling better which should bring cheers to the Indian camp.
If nets sessions are an indication, Yuvraj is almost a certainty to take Tendulkar's place in the middle order after he had been asked to bat on three different net wickets by coach Gary Kirsten.
In that case Kaif, who last played a Test for India in June 2006 in Kingston, Jamaica, will have to wait to regain his spot.
The other players who attended the nets today were all-rounder Irfan Pathan and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, both of whom warmed the benches in the series opener.