Indians practice behind closed doors at Grace Road

On the other side, there was the Indian team which kept the media out of bounds, apparently at the instructions of coach Duncan Fletcher.

Indian reporters following the team here had problems even entering the ground as security people reluctantly let them in but the bigger surprise came when the scribes were stopped from entering the walled ‘nets’ area. “We have instructions from the Indian team not to allow the media inside,” said a member of the security staff. “The ECB badge (accreditation pass) doesn’t mean much if the team says they don’t want you near them.”

Strangely, team manager Shivlal Yadav said the team had no problems whatsoever and it was instead the police which wanted the media to be barred due to security reasons.

Even as the blame-game between the security staff and the Indian team officials continued, a lady official at the stadium threatened to escort the media out of the ground if they didn’t stop asking questions.

Meanwhile, doubts over Gautam Gambhir’s fitness continued as the left-hander came out after a 20-minute session on Sunday. It is learnt that the Delhi batsman is still feeling hazy and was hurting in his head at every impact. The opener hasn’t had any training – warm-up football and fielding drills – with the team since the last Test and has largely restricted himself to indoor batting stints. It’s also emerged that his injury was exacerbated after he was hit on his head by a Stuart Broad bouncer in the second innings of the final Test.

Gambhir suffered a concussion when he slammed the back of his head on to ground in an attempt to take a catch during The Oval Test. Though MRI scans revealed no major damage, the 29-year-old is still reeling from the effects of the impact. He had also sustained an impact injury on his left elbow while fielding at Lord’s, forcing him to skip the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane and Jharkhand pacer Varun Aaron – the replacements for Virender Sehwag and Ishant Sharma – joined the side on Saturday and had their first training stint with the team on Sunday.

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