Kolkata:Former captain Sourav Ganguly has immersed himself in a rigorous fitness regime to keep injuries away as he prepares to take on the Proteas at home.
With the three-match Test series against South Africa scheduled to begin on March 26, Ganguly has been concentrating on a daily dose of cardiovascular training.
Ganguly is taking help of ladders and parachutes during his daily sessions either at the Eden Gardens or at the Railway stadium near his residence in Behala.
"It's a long season. I have to remain fit. And this fitness programme keeps me away from injuries," Ganguly said.
The stylish left-hander has been included in the Test squad against South Africa after being kept out of the tri-series in Australia when the selectors opted for a young side at the prodding of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and axed Ganguly and another former captain Rahul Dravid.
After India won the triangular series with back-to-back wins over Australia in the final, Dhoni yesterday defended his insistence on young players at the cost of veterans like Dravid and Ganguly.
"I was pretty clear about the players I wanted in the side. That's what I said to the selectors as well. You can see the kind of team I got," he said.
Without naming the dropped players, Dhoni said, "It's very important because the process and the timing (of the selection) were criticised a lot. But sometimes it is very important to send the message across, because sometimes people neglect the answer," Dhoni said.
While warding off persistent efforts from the media to elicit a response from him on Dhoni's comments, Ganguly, however, made a toungue-in-cheek remark on the youth versus experience debate while speaking at an award function.
"I thank the Indian Chamber of Commerce as the word 'young' is in the award. I will wake up feeling better tomorrow, amid the debate in the country between youth and experience," he said in his acceptance speech after receiving the Young Achievers' Award.
Responding to queries from scribes, Ganguly said he was confident and looking forward to the home series.
Praising the South Africans, Ganguly said the visitors had a good bowling attack and the series would be competitive.
"It will be a good series. They have a good bowling attack, they have good pacers.
"I am looking forward to the series. South Africa is a good team. But we have played against them earlier. So we are confident."