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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sachin back for practice session.

A hobbled India got down to their first practice session after winning the opening World Cup match against Bangladesh on Saturday. All eyes were on Sachin Tendulkar when the Indian team trouped into the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The team's most precious player was making his first

public appearance after undergoing a precautionary MRI scan on his knee in Mumbai on Monday.

Tendulkar came, he saw, but did not train with the rest of the team. He was on the sidelines when his teammates warmed up with a round of football at the main stadium and then spent time at the gym when they had nets at the National Cricket Academy complex. Team manager Ranjib Biswal informed later that there was nothing to worry about Tendulkar, and that he was just taking rest.

Ashish Nehra was also in focus, having missed the Bangladesh match with a sore back. Like Tendulkar, the left-arm pacer too skipped football and nets and worked out at the gym instead. About Nehra, Biswal said: “He has a minor niggle and we are working on his rehabilitation. Both Tendulkar and Nehra should be okay before the next match (against England on Sunday).”

Virender Sehwag, who didn't take any further part in the Bangladesh match after scoring 175 in the first half, didn't come for practice. Sehwag was limping and needed a runner towards the end of his brilliant innings.

Also absent were fast bowler Sreesanth and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Biswal said there was nothing to worry about the trio. “They didn't come because this was an optional practice session,” he said.

Gautam Gambhir, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli batted properly at the nets, mostly against local bowlers.

Coach GaryKirsten gave throw-downs to Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. While Harbhajan was drawn forward by some full-length deliveries, Zaheer was pushed back as Kirsten banged them in short. The session lasted for close to three hours.

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