| Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble at practice in Lahore on Tuesday. (PTI)
Lahore: The Indians made their first trip to the Gaddafi since arriving late last Thursday, but neither captain Rahul Dravid nor coach Greg Chappell paid much attention to the wicket being prepared for Test No.1, beginning Friday.
“With three days remaining, how it looked today was of no consequence,” explained Dravid. Chappell didn’t even give a close look. “Just saw the wicket from a distance ... There’s so much time between now and the Test,” he said, preparing to go out for dinner with wife Judith and biomechanist Ian Frazer.
Whatever the eventual look, The Telegraph understands a 2-2 attack is most likely to be fielded ' despite talk of playing only one specialist spinner in Anil Kumble.
While the Indians did go to the Gaddafi, the first nets session featuring the entire team was at the adjacent Academy. There was a variation in the drills and the batsmen had to graduate to the master net, overseen by Chappell, after batting on a concrete wicket and against the bowling machine.
Considerable attention, expectedly, was on former captain Sourav Ganguly. He qualified for the master net (after Yuvraj Singh), but when he settled down there, Chappell was seen having a chat with Yuvraj and, then, V.V.S. Laxman.
More than anything else, it almost confirmed Sourav doesn’t ' as of Tuesday ' feature in the thinktank’s plans for the Gaddafi face-off.
The security, by the way, was intimidating. Sharpshooters weren’t just on the rooftop of the building closest to the Academy, but even on the terrace of the facility itself.
And, when a bunch of local bowlers turned up for nets duty, one Shabbir (heading the commando unit assigned to protect Dravid and Co.) ensured they neither carried mobile phones nor penknives. Even a key-ring is banned.
“Ensuring foolproof security is our job,” he remarked crisply.
Meanwhile, the Indians are to visit the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Imran Khan will himself escort the players (and support staff) around what probably remains his biggest accomplishment.