India vs England 2014: Can Mahendra Singh Dhoni afford to miss a practice session?

Last Updated: Aug 14, 2014, 12:32 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai

New Delhi: It would be a do-or-die situation for Team India in the fifth and final Test at The Oval, as the tourists are 2-1 down in the series. Everyone expects Indian players to work harder at nets and attend all the practice sessions before The Oval Test, scheduled to start from Friday.

But on Wednesday, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni missed the optional practice session which grabbed the headlines. Apart from the captain, every other player attended the session and looked eager to work on their shortcomings.

According to media reports, Dhoni went to a shooting range to hone his target practice. It`s unclear whether Dhoni visited a shooting range or not, but at a time when the Indian team is looking to salvage its pride, especially after losing two consecutive Tests, Dhoni`s absence from the practice session was quite strange.

In his absence, coach Duncan Fletcher and vice-captain Virat Kohli led the team in practice.

Meanwhile, a good news for the Indian camp is that hero of Lord`s Test, Ishant Sharma, is looking all set to make a comeback in the last Test of the series.

Sharma returned to London before the rest of the squad and had a session at The Oval on Tuesday. The Delhi seamer bowled for a long duration during the net session on next day as well.

The final decision on his fitness, in all probability, will be taken on Thursday when Dhoni is expected to come to the net session.

The last time Sharma was the part of the playing eleven, he won the Man of the Match award in India`s 95-run win in the second Test at Lord`s.

If he is assessed fit to play in the final Test, the Indian pace attack, which has looked light-weight in Sharma`s absence, would get a major boost.

With Agency Inputs