Vinay raring to bounce back

The injured pace bowler is training at the NCA in Bangalore.

Vinay Kumar, India’s out-of-action medium pacer, is waddling about in the swimming pool at the Karnataka State Cricket Association, attempting something of a cross between a floating exercise and an underwater trod.

“Ravi Shastri does this all the time,” says an informed observer from the community of pen wielders, “It’s great for the calf muscles.”

Vinay emerges from his watery abode moments later, toweling himself zealously, and struts past us, calves safely shielded from prying eyes by a navy track suit.

What is obvious, however, is an incipient tummy that jiggles along to the thrum of his footsteps.

Vinay, who has taken 28 wickets from 22 ODIs, pats it with something that derives equally from affection and embarrassment.

“I have been out of action for some time,” he offers by way of an explanation.

Named in the squad for the make-shift ODI and Twenty20 tour to Sri Lanka, Vinay dropped out of contention following a right hamstring injury during training, and was replaced by all-rounder Irfan Pathan.

Recuperating at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore all this past month, the 28-year-old from Davanagere says he is happy with the progress he has made.

“I’ve been training regularly. Yesterday I bowled at 80 per cent. Hopefully I will be back to 100 per cent soon.”