New Delhi: Star batter Shreyas Iyer, who was ruled out of the first Test due to a lower back injury is still doing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy and it is unlikely the team management will risk playing him directly in a Test match.
India and Australia will play the second Test at the Ferozshah Kotla from Friday and it is to be seen if Iyer is able to join the team.
Iyer had posted a few videos of his intense rehab programme at the NCA in Bengaluru under trainer S Rajnikanth.
Iyer is doing his strength and conditioning routines but the norm for return to play in international arena is to at least play a domestic game of some form before donning national colours again.
Hence Iyer, who hasn't played any competitive cricket for a month now, might not be directly thrown into a Test match where he might have to field for 90 overs, crouch and stand close-in and then bat for long hours.
It will be interesting to see if the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee names Iyer in the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup match against Madhya Pradesh from March 1-5 to prove his fitness just like they asked Ravindra Jadeja to play a Ranji Trophy game against Tamil Nadu.
Jasprit Bumrah's recovery from stress fracture has been a slow one and the Indian team management is unlikely to risk playing him in the three ODIs against Australia just after the end of the four-match Test series.
Bumrah will be needed for the potential World Test Championship final at the Oval in London from June 7-11 and also for the big ODI World Cup in India at the end of the year.
Therefore, there is a possibility that Bumrah will return to play during Mumbai Indians' campaign at the IPL this year where his workload will be monitored.
In less than 48 hours after he had won the 'Player of the Match' award in the opening Test, Ravindra Jadeja was back in the nets at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha for an optional training session ahead of the second Test in Delhi starting Friday.
Jadeja, who took seven wickets, including a five-for along with a polished 70, did bat and bowl at the nets and was accompanied by senior batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who will play his 100th Test at the Ferozshah Kotla.
Jaydev Unadkat, who will be flying to Kolkata on Tuesday, to play the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal, also rolled his arm over while KS Bharat honed his keeping and batting skills.
The Australian team, which couldn't train at the centre wicket after the Nagpur Test as the groundsmen had watered the track, had a lengthy session on the match strip on the day. A few social media pictures featured Marnus Labuschagne keeping wickets to the spinners.
While the Australian team will be reaching Delhi on Tuesday morning, Mitchell Starc, who missed the first Test due to an injury, is already up and running as he had his first nets session at the Kotla on the day.
While he bowled at the nets, he also invited the local net bowlers and had a knock for about 20 minutes.
It has been learnt that the DDCA groundstaff hasn't yet stopped watering the strip at the Ferozshah Kotla and, unlike conjectures by the Australian media, sources in the DDCA said that no specific instructions have been given by the Indian team management on preparation of the track. PTI