Minor injury worries ahead of first Test
The buzz around the series is slowly building up in Chandigarh. The Indian team, sans the Champions League and Board President's XI players, have been training hard for two days at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, and the Australians have had a fruitful three days of cricket at the Sector 16 Stadium. The common theme has been niggles and minor discomforts that have made both the sides take precautionary measures.
Gautam Gambhir, Sreesanth, Simon Katich and Marcus North have all experienced some sort of discomfort over the last three days. Sreesanth cramped up while bowling and took some time off before coming back to bowl. Gambhir was hit on the right hand by a rising delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus on the second day of the match. He played no part in the remainder of the game, sitting out while the BP XI team fielded on day three and choosing to not bat in the second innings. It has been learnt that this was just to ensure he did not aggravate the problem ahead of the series.
North, who made a much-needed good start to his tour with a fluent century, experienced some back trouble too, and took the Gambhir route, staying out of action on day three. Katich had a bruised thumb, and he didn't bat in the Australians' second innings. He however came on the field after the Australians' declaration, which is a good sign for the visitors.
Meanwhile, over at the PCA Stadium in the outskirts of the city, key members of the Indian team got through a full practice session. Wearing the new team practice kit, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman had a nice hit in the nets. Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra were the bowlers present. There had been reports that Sehwag was hit on the right knee by an Ishant delivery yesterday, but he seemed in no discomfort while batting in the nets.
Apart from the team's bowling coach Eric Simons, Harbhajan had his childhood coach, Devender Arora, work with him during the session.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo