Northampton, Aug 5: Rarely has a tour game proved more important than Team India's 2-day encounter with Northampton starting today. A beleaguered Indian side, fresh from humiliating defeat will be hoping to find some form and hit upon the right combination of players against the county team.
Virender Sehwag has been hard at work in the indoor nets as he strives to shed the inertia off his recuperating right shoulder. In fact, he should consider Northampton his home away from home as last year he had signed up with the side only to be barred by the BCCI from joining due to concerns of over-work.
Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan also turned up for practice, and though he was sporting a gingerly gait on arrival, he proceeded to bowl a dozen deliveries or so. His run up was cut in half, but his delivery stride didn't look blighted by discomfort as he spawned some hope that he was well on the road to recovery.
Also, putting their shoulders to the wheel in the nets were Gautam Gambhir, M S Dhoni and Suresh Raina who faced a variety of throw-downs with a bias to the short-rising deliveries against which they have suffered immensely in the tour so far.
The cricket authorities at Northampton have assured India of having prepared a strip not dissimilar to the pacy character of the Edgbaston pitch, where India will play England in the third Test, beginning Aug 10. So hopefully, India has all bases covered as they take on the Northants today.