Wellington, Feb 15: India have been given a major boost ahead of the Test series against New Zealand after Ishant Sharma was passed fit to return from an ankle injury.
The paceman has been out of action since hurting his right ankle while appealing for an lbw decision in Delhi's Ranji Trophy victory over Vidarbha last month.
It was feared Ishant would miss a two-match series against Kane Williamson's side after an MRI scan showed he had suffered muscle damage.
However, Ishant on Saturday revealed he had passed a fitness test and expressed his gratitude to Ashish Kaushik, head physio at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, six days before the first Test starts in Wellington.
The 31-year-old quick tweeted: "It was a roller coaster ride for me after the injury on my ankle on the 20th January but with the help of Ashish Kaushik I managed to pull it off! Scans were a little scary, but today I am happy that I am fit! Thanks Ashish Kaushik."
Ishant will be just two shy of the 100-Test landmark if he plays in both matches against the Black Caps.
Meanwhile, India were 59 without loss at stumps on day two of a three-day tour match in Hamilton, leading a New Zealand XI by 87 runs after bowling them out for 235.
Mohammed Shami took 3-17, while there were two apiece for Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini.