Chennai, (Agencies): After India lost Praveen Kumar from the World Cup side due to a hurt elbow, Coach Gary Kirsten has turned extra protective of the players recovering from injuries that includes India’s opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

Sehwag and Gambhir have recently recovered from shoulder and elbow injuries respectively. Gary gave the dashing duo special attention during the first day of India`s short pre-World Cup camp that got underway at the National Cricket Academy here today.

The pair also missed the ODI series in South Africa in the wake of fitness concerns.

Sehwag was the first to hit the nets today and knocked for about 30 minutes, followed by Gambhir. Kirsten, who according to Indian team members never gets tired by giving throw downs did the same for the trio.

Coming fresh from a16-day break, the members of the squad seemed to have refreshed as one saw the players upbeat and happy during their two-hour session.

The  practice session started with a 30-minute football match between two groups in which coach Kirsten also participated and then most of the top-order batsmen save senior-most pro Sachin Tendulkar had a knock at the nets.

The other Indian batsmen, including captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan were also seen knocking at the adjacent nets.

With the exception of Harbhajan Singh, all the bowlers, including part-time spinners Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj, rolled their arms in the presence of bowling coach Simmons.

Simmons also paid attention to the fringe bowlers like Piyush Chawla, Ravichandran Ashwin and S Sreesanth.
 
Harbhajan, skipped the net session today and was seen doing some light stretching exercises during the fag end of the session.

The serious business, however, is expected to start from Friday as India play their first warm-up match against Australia at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday before leaving for Chennai where they will round off the preparation with the second and the last practice match against New Zealand on February 16.