Port Elizabeth (South Africa): India's Test opener Shiv Sunder Das on Sunday proclaimed himself fit and available for the remaining matches of the One-day triangular series.
"I am okay, there's nothing wrong with me," said Das as he ironed out his technique against rising deliveries under the supervision of coach John Wright. Das said he was a bit concerned about reports reaching home which stated he had been seriously injured in India's second game against South Africa at Centurion Park on Wednesday when he was hit on the head while fielding at forward short leg by a fierce pull from Shaun Pollock off Anil Kumble. "There was an X-ray done but the injury wasn't serious," said Das. Das said he was practising hard against short rising deliveries. "Though there is nothing wrong with my technique I think I could do with a bit of extra practice on the issue in the nets. The more you practice the better it gets." The rest of the Indian side appeared a little fatigued by the exertion of flying on Saturday when it took them seven hours to reach Port Elizabeth from Bloemfontein via Johannesburg. Their journey could very well be compared to taking a flight from Delhi to Mumbai via Amritsar. But then it is not the best of itineraries for the visitors especially for the One-dayers, best illustrated by its last scheduled One-day game at Paarl on October 24. The Indians play that day-night game at a venue 60km away from Cape Town and then the next morning fly to Durban where the final is scheduled for the very next day on October 26. In the nets on Sunday, the two top guns Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar chose to stay away and so did Javagal Srinath, Virender Sehwag, Ajit Agarkar and Yuvraj Singh. Dravid was content with giving tips to the likes of Reetinder Singh Sodhi besides lending a helping hand to coach Wright. It was the kind of day when tailenders got a chance to work out their batting against local boys. Also trying their hands at bowling were wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta and Jacob Martin who bowled slow off spinners. After Anil Kumble, Venkatesh Prasad and Sodhi finished their batting stints, Wright took aside Sodhi to put the Punjab youngster through his paces in bowling. "I am trying to help him out to add a few extra yards in his bowling," Wright said. Sodhi, who has looked impressive in his nascent career so far as batting is concerned, must work on his bowling for a permanent place in the One-day side. At present, Sodhi is at best given to bowl 5-6 overs in the middle. It is primarily because he is not a specialist bowler that he has not been given a chance in the series so far.