Fatullah: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and veteran pacer Ashish Nehra on Friday did not come for Indian team’s pre-match day training after being advised rest ahead of the crucial Asia Cup T20 game against Pakistan, in Fatullah on Saturday.
While Dhoni is suffering from back spasms, the injury-prone Nehra has his own specific training programme, which is different from the general team routine.
Dhoni had played through pain against Bangladesh but back spasms need adequate recovery time, which is specifically the reason he has been given 48 hours to recuperate before the Pakistan match.
His cover Parthiv Patel had his first training session but had precious little do as he did not get to bat in the main nets. Unless Dhoni’s physical condition deteriorates further, Parthiv's chances of playing are minimal.
There was one interesting sight during the training session on the match-eve. Both India and Pakistan trained adjacent to each other inside the main stadium at the Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium and trained at the same time between 4-6:30 pm local time. But during the entire two and half-hour training session, no pleasantries were exchanged between the members of the two sides.
Call it strange, there were four nets set-up on the four centre strips of the main stadium. In the first two nets, it was the Indian batsmen and in the next two were their Pakistani counterparts.
While training sessions of international teams are intense, it’s not uncommon to see players mingle with each other.
It’s certainly different from the 80’s or 90’s where one would find Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev enjoying a chat with a Javed Miandad during the training session or Wasim Akram would exchange a quick hello with Sachin Tendulkar or Mohammed Azharuddin.
It is not known whether it’s the ensuing tension of the match or the off-field tension for the now-aborted series but it is a reality that an Indo-Pak match is slightly different from the other duels.
Shahid Afridi for one spoke about how politics and cricket should not be mixed but at the same time tried to portray how Pakistan had always made the first approach to resume bilateral cricketing ties with India.
"Sports can always develop good relationship between countries. I think the Pakistani people want to see the Indians in Pakistan and vice-versa. We should not try to paint a political colour in sporting activities. Our government always took the first step in this regard," Pakistan captain said.
In any case, the psychological battle has begun before the commencement of the on-field showdown.
It will be blood for blood & chair for chair, says Khali
New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) Former WWE star Dalip Singh Rana, popularly known as 'The Great Khali', was today discharged from the hospital and vowed to take revenge for the embarrassment he had to go through after getting badly injured in the opening fight of the event, which is named after the great wrestler.
Despite getting injured, Khali has vowed to make a comeback in the second show of 'The Great Khali Returns Series' scheduled to be held in Dehradun on Sunday.
"It will be blood for blood and chair for chair," said Khali after being discharged from the hospital.
Khali, on Wednesday night, suffered head and chest injuries during the Continental Wrestling Entertainment show at Haldwani and was subsequently airlifted the next morning to a speciality hospital in Dehradun.
The fight had to be stopped mid way after his opponents, Mike Knox and Brody Steel, beat up Khali with chairs.
Khali, 43, today said that he will fight the bout in Dehradun at his own risk just for his fans.
"There is a fire burning inside me and I am embarrassed that I let my fans down in Haldwani," Khali said in a statement.
"But I request you all to come on 28th in Dehradun and watch me give it back to them. I will fight despite what the doctors say and promise to take revenge," he added.
Khali received seven stitches on his head before being flown to the Uttarakhand capital, where he was kept under observation in the ICU and underwent many tests to know the severity and exact nature of his injuries.
After the tests, he was discharged from the hospital today, although the doctors have advised him against fighting on Sunday.
First Published On : Feb 26, 2016 19:15 IST