The Indian team physiotherapist Patrick Farhart patted Ravichandran Ashwin on his back after assessing his fitness outside the boundary of the Brabourne Stadium even as Board President’s XI new ball operators Shardul Thakur and Nathu Singh dented the South African top order on Saturday morning.
Ashwin, who is recovering from a side strain he suffered during the first ODI against the South Africans in Kanpur, was doing the fielding drill of picking up and throwing the ball under the supervision of Farhart and the Indian team’s strength and fitness trainer Shankar Basu.
Ashwin showed no signs of discomfort and perhaps that was why the pat of approval on the back from the Australian Farhart. Ashwin, whom chief selector Sandeep Patil said while naming the squad for the first two Tests that he will be definitely fit in time for the Test series starting on November 5, had a look at the Proteas from the sidelines.
The 29-year-old off-spinner will be the key bowler as India look to salvage pride in the Test series that is expected to be played on turning tracks to suit the Indian bowlers after going down in both the T20s and ODIs of this Freedom Series.