Munaf rests as Team India train ahead of 1st Test
Uncertainty continues to reign over medium-pacer Munaf Patel's availability for the first Test against West Indies at Sabina Park starting on Monday.
The medium-pacer from Gujarat was reduced to a spectator as his team-mates, including Test arrivals from home -- Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- got into the grind and were involved in a vigorous work-out on Friday.
Coach Duncan Fletcher refused to shed light on the reason for Patel's inactivity in the last two team sessions, as well as on him missing out on the final one-day international on Thursday.
The only word the Zimbabwe-born coach has said is that "Patel should be fit for selection for the Test."
Image: Munaf Patel
Photographs: Getty Images
Praveen Kumar likely to find Test spot
Patel was hugely impressive in India's World Cup campaign as well as in the one-day series in Kingston where he picked up eight wickets from three matches at 17.75 average.
However, he has not played a Test for India for over two years now and if the trend continues it will most likely pave the way for Praveen Kumar's inclusion in the Test team.
In the practice session, coach Fletcher appeared keen to pick the brains of Dravid and Dhoni.
Fletcher had earlier said that he was looking forward to learning from men with such wealth of experience.
Dhoni was among the early bats to pad up but then sat in the shade for long while others took their turn under a scorching sun.
Image: Praveen Kumar (right) and MS Dhoni
Vijay, Laxman spend time in the nets
The arriving Test specialists were impressively intense even though it has been less than 24 hours since they landed in the Caribbean Islands.
Openers Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund, particularly the former, spent a long time in the nets against both spinners and pacers alike.
The hosts, on their part, afforded good net bowlers to the visitors as all Indian batsmen had an extensive work-out.
VVS Laxman was the centre of attraction with his graceful strokes, while Vijay made some rasping drives.
Image: Murali Vijay
Dhoni, Raina get some fielding practice
Later Dhoni, alongwith the spin cordon of Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli latched on to some sharp catching practice organised by fielding coach Trevor Penny.
Bowling coach Eric Simmons appeared to have taken over the job of former coach Gary Kirsten who threw down countless balls at the batsmen. Simmons gave a good work-out to Raina, Mukund and Laxman with his throw-downs.
The first Test starts in Kingston on Monday.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni