At the end of India's training session at the SCG on Friday, MS Dhoni rushed back into the changing rooms. He usually stops by and engages with the fans waiting for autographs and photographs. As he just about disappeared you realised the possible reason behind his hurry. Cameras were pointed at him, and comments were sought on the Supreme Court verdict, particularly about N Srinivasan, whose dual role as a BCCI administrator and commercial gainer from an IPL team has come under fire. Dhoni of course didn't react. Just smiled and went away.
He has his own issues to sort out here in Australia. The big ones right now are the fitness of Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. During Friday's optional training session, the workload of Ishant and Jadeja seemed to assure that they are not World Cup doubts, but to balance off that bit of good news for India, Rohit was one of the three players to have given the session a miss.Ishant was India's best bowler - not that it says much - in the Test series, providing them some control on which to base their attack. After playing three back-to-back Tests, though, Ishant missed the one in Sydney with a "knee pain". Since then and until Friday, Ishant didn't bowl off a full run in any of the training sessions. On Friday, though, he was close to full pelt, which will be a big good news because India's World Cup squad has only four genuine quick bowlers. There is Stuart Binny, but it is hard to imagine him playing as one of the three main seamers.Jadeja has been Dhoni's biggest investment between the World Cups. He has been a key No. 7 in ODIs. Arguably Dhoni's best spinner in limited-overs cricket, Jadeja has worked on his big hits to become one of the best Nos. 7 in ODIs. Since the start of the Champions Trophy in 2013, which was when this ODI combination of India began to come together, Jadeja is the third-highest run-scorer in ODIs from No. 7, at an average of 41 and a strike rate of 93. In Jadeja's absence, India have had to bat with extra caution in the middle overs.At every press conference Dhoni has spoken about how Jadeja's absence is hurting India. You ask him about his circumspect batting, and he says he has to maintain the balance because Jadeja is not coming behind him. You ask him about Virat Kohli's batting at No. 4, and he says the middle order has to be shored up in Jadeja's absence. Jadeja, though, has gone back to India and come back after the Tests. He has had a "shoulder impingement". Ever since coming back Jadeja has only been taking a few throwdowns, and bowling a few off a stationary position. On Friday, though, Jadeja bowled with much more intensity. He even had a hit in a proper net.The signs with those two important bowlers are looking good when it comes to World Cup even if they are not risked in the triangular series, but India will be keeping a close eye on Rohit's recovery from a sore hamstring. Just as soon as he seemed to have settled the opening conundrum with a hundred in India's first match of the series, he missed out on the second match with the hammie. He, Kohli and R Ashwin missed the optional training session on Friday.India will want to go easy on Rohit with the World Cup approaching, but they will also be anxious because they have selected only one reserve batsman in the 15. Even in the 17-man squad for the triangular, they have only seven batsmen. If Rohit misses out on the SCG ODI on Monday, even as Ambati Rayudu comes in as replacement, it means India can't play around with the out-of-form Shikhar Dhawan even if they want to.After the loss at the Gabba, Dhoni had suggested a break or a hit-out might help Dhawan. If Rohit doesn't make it, Dhawan might get a chance to go for the latter on Monday. We won't hear more on that until Sunday: India are taking Saturday off for a team recreational activity, which usually is paintball with the Indian team.