Zaheer out of England tour

Paceman needs four months to fully recover while Rahul Dravid gets surprise recall to one-day squad.

    Zaheer leaves the field injured during the first day of a series that has so far been humbling for India [GALLO/GETTY]

    India seamer Zaheer Khan needs surgery for ankle and hamstring problems and has been ruled out for the remainder of the England series.

    Meanwhile Rahul Dravid, India's top scorer in the Test series, has said his return to the one-day squad is a temporary one and he is retiring from the shorter forms of the game.
    Left-arm paceman Rudra Pratap Singh will replace Zaheer for the remaining two Tests, a Twenty20 and five one-day internationals.
    Zaheer, 32, would need up to four months to fully recover, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Sunday.

    The left-armer, who missed India's full tour of West Indies due to the ankle problem, had to leave the field on the first day of the series at Lord's and subsequently missed the second Test at Trent Bridge.

    "Zaheer Khan is suffering from a recurrent right hamstring strain and a right ankle impingement," BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said.

    "He will require a surgery for his ankle, followed by intensive rehabilitation for both the ankle and hamstring.

    "He will need at least 14-16 weeks to recover completely."

    India's leading seamer had been named in the squad for the limited overs series but was ruled out after only managing to bowl three overs in a tour game against Northamptonshire.

    Replacement RP Singh has not played for India in any form of cricket since September 2009, with his last Test match being against South Africa in April 2008.

    "The all-India senior selection committee has picked RP Singh as his replacement in the Indian squads for the Test series, and the T20 international and ODI series," Srinivasan said. "RP Singh will join the team at the earliest."

    India have been grappling with injuries during the tour and missed their top opening batsman Virender Sehwag in both Tests because of a shoulder injury.

    Sehwag's regular opening partner, Gautam Gambhir, missed the second Test with a bruised arm which forcing a batting order reshuffle.
    Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and batsman Yuvraj Singh have also been ruled out for the rest of the tour after suffering injuries during the second Test at Trent Bridge.

    Left-hander Yuvraj fractured his index finger after he was hit by a short-pitched delivery from England seamer Tim Bresnan while Harbhajan suffered an abdominal muscle strain in the same match.
    India, the ODI world champions, trail England 2-0 with two more Tests left in the four-match series.

    Wrong way?

    Dravid's recall to the one-day squad is being viewed by some as a step in the wrong direction.

    Kiran More, India's former selection committee chief, says Saturday's decision showed a lack of proper planning by the current selection panel, which is led by former opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

    The 38-year-old Dravid, who last played an ODI in September 2009 against the West Indies during the Champions Trophy in South Africa, was recalled to India's squad for a lone Twenty20 and five one-day internationals against England.

    The second-highest run-scorer in Tests, Dravid has notched 10,765 runs from 339 ODIs but he too was taken aback by the shock recall and promptly announced his retirement from the shorter forms after the England series.

    "I think they have made a lot of changes recently. And the changes they have done are not looking ahead," former chairman of the national selection panel More told the Reuters news agency in a telephone interview.

    "I don't know what their thinking is but I know things have not gone very correctly."
    Former India wicketkeeper More, who played 49 Test matches for India, said the decision to leave out paceman Shantakumaran Sreesanth was bizarre and it would confuse the players.

    Sreesanth failed to find a spot as the selectors went with Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel and R. Vinay Kumar as the five pacemen in the 16-man squad.

    "Yusuf Pathan could have played a few games ... He's not a bad player. They are not sending proper signals to the players," he said.
    "The players are also confused. Now Sreesanth is not part of the one-day team though he is bowling well.

    "I don't know what confidence you are giving to Sreesanth. He was part of the World Cup team but he is not part of the (current) one-day team."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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