Mumbai, Sept 18 (ANI): The Indian cricket team left for South Africa from here on Friday to participate in the Champions Trophy.
South Africa has been a happing hunting ground for India who was runners-up in the one-day World Cup in 2003 and Twenty20 World Cup champions four years later.
India has received a boost before their Champions Trophy campaign when in-form opener Gautam Gambhir was passed fit to return after injury.
The left-hander has recovered from a groin strain and will travel with the team to South Africa, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement on Thursday.
India, already without the explosive Virender Sehwag, were sweating on Gambhir's fitness after the Delhi batsman missed this month's tri-series in Sri Lanka.
India won the Colombo tournament, also involving New Zealand and the hosts, and went into the prestigious eight-team event as one of the favourites after not having lost a one-day series in the past year.
India has been grouped with defending and world champions Australia, Twenty20 champions Pakistan and former champions West Indies in the preliminary phase.
A young Indian batting unit struggled against short-pitched bowling in this year's Twenty20 World Cup in England.
Ishant Sharma will spearhead the five-man pace attack in the absence of experienced left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan, who has been ruled out until the end of the year after undergoing surgery on an injured shoulder. (ANI)