Dravid and RP declared fit
Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, RP Singh and VRV Singh have been passed fit for the upcoming Test series against South Africa, which starts on March 26 in Chennai.
The fitness tests took place over the last few days at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, and were held under the supervision of Paul Chapman, the physical conditioning coach, and Paul Close, the physiotherapist. Each of the six players declared fit underwent a medical examination, bleep test, body strengthening and fielding practice.
Among the players declared fit, only Dravid and RP had injury niggles. Dravid had suffered a finger injury during the Test series in Australia while RP had missed the CB Series due to a hamstring injury he picked up mid-way through the fourth Test in Adelaide. Dravid told Cricinfo that his injury had healed, while RP said he would return to action in the Deodhar Trophy from March 14. The other players also underwent the routine Tests, as according to the new rules of the Indian board, the players who have been out of action for a month need to prove their fitness at the NCA ahead of any series.
Pankaj Singh, meanwhile, looks doubtful for the South Africa series, having been advised three weeks' rest to recover from a hip strain. Pankaj had been selected in the Test squad for Australia but only featured in the tour games.
The findings of the tests were sent by the NCA to the BCCI.
India's concerns, though, would be over the members of the side that were in Australia for both the Tests and ODIs, with Sachin Tendulkar, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, and Yuvraj Singh advised rest for two to three weeks by John Gloster, the outgoing Indian team physio.
The selection of India's squad for the first two Tests against South Africa has already been postponed from March 9 to March 17, with chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar wanting the players who returned immediately after the Test series in Australia to take part in the Deodhar Trophy, which commences on March 14.