Pathan joins team for last ODI against WI
Ace pace bowler Irfan Pathan joined the Indian team on Monday for the fourth and final limited-overs international against the West Indies, a month after he was sent back from the tour of South Africa to regain his bowling rhythm.
Pathan was included in the Indian squad for the last one-dayer as the national selectors are seeking to try out several candidates before picking the World Cup team.
India leads 2-1 going into the final game of the four-match series on Wednesday, which will be the last international fixture for the West Indies cricketers ahead of the World Cup, to be played in the Caribbean islands during March and April.
West Indies will take a break after this series and later regroup for a training camp ahead of the World Cup.
India is looking to avenge its humiliating 4-1 loss in the one-dayers when it toured the West Indies last year. Pathan had a workout at the nets on Monday with the few Indian players who had reached the western city of Baroda, even as other cricketers took time to visit their families after Saturday's match in Chennai.
Going through a lean patch, Pathan was sent back from South Africa ahead of the third and final Test match as chief selector Dilip Vangsarkar advised the left-arm pace bowler to play some domestic matches.
India's sports scientist, Ian Fraser said Pathan seemed to have rediscovered his rhythm.
"Irfan seems to have got his bowling rhythm back. There was fluidity in his motion, the run-up was fluent and the ball-delivery action smooth," Fraser told reporters after the net session.
Beside Pathan, who is expected to open the Indian attack in the final one-dayer against the West Indies, the team management also summoned pace bowler Munaf Patel to gauge his recovery from injury.
Patel's injury during the South African sojourn restricted his appearances. Even after inclusion in the Indian side for the third Test match, Patel appeared short of match-fitness and was dropped from the squad for the ongoing limited-overs series.
Patel bowled for an extended spell in the nets despite using a shortened run-up.
Observing him was the team's physiotherapist, John Gloster who is to submit a report on the fitness of all players to the Indian cricket board before the selectors pick the team for next month's four limited-overs internationals against Sri Lanka.
"We wanted to have a look at Munaf's bowling ahead of the series against Sri Lanka," Indian captain Rahul Dravid said, implying that the selectors were still considering Patel for inclusion in the World Cup team.
India's World Cup squad will be announced midway through the one-day series against Sri Lanka.