Karthik, Balaji start practicing ahead of camp

Published: Friday, August 4, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Overcoming injuries which had laid them low for quite some time, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, speedster Lakshmipathi Balaji and left arm spinner Murali Karthik are back in action and raring to go in the coming season.

Sachin found a place in the Sri Lanka-bound team for the tri-series against the hosts and South Africa, after being down with a shoulder injury for over six months. He has completed the week-long fitness camp in the city last week to the satisfaction of Trainer Gregory King and biomechanist Ian Frazer.

Though not in the team for the tri-series, but called by the BCCI to undergo training in the cricket camp beginning on Sunday, Balaji and Karthik arrived in the city yesterday, four days in advance, and started training at the the National Cricket Academy (NCA) here. The two players were seen receiving tips from King and Frazer.

Balaji had been off the field since August last year following a serious back problem for which he underwent treatment in Australia.

Earlier, he had a stint of training at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai after returning from Australia. It was during the 2004 tour of England that Balaji first complained about the injury ut still played and went on to capture nine wickets in three tests against Pakistan. The Tamil Nadu seamer had captured 27 wickets from eight test matches, with an average of 37.18. In 29 one-dayers, he had taken 34 wickets, averaging 38.58.

The Railways player Karthik, who was out of action since 2004 after a home series against South Africa, is ultimately back. Though he had played an one-dayer against Pakistan in Peshawar last February, he could never recover from his shoulder injury. Karthik, who had played in eight test matches, had taken 24 wickets with an average of 34.16 and 27 wickets from as many matches in the abridged version averaging 48.59.

With the selection of team for the ICC Champions Trophy, to be held in India in October, the Board directed Karthik and Balaji to attend the Cricket Skill camp.

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