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January 26, 2008
In a setback to India's chances in the final Test in Adelaide, RP Singh, the left-arm seamer, has been rendered out of action for at least two weeks. RP picked up a hamstring injury but the good news is that it is a grade 1 injury, which is the lowest possible hamstring tear. RP suffered the problem on the second evening, bowling the seventh over of the innings.
RP Singh, India's second-highest wicket-taker in this series with 13 victims in seven innings, had walked off the field on the second evening. He underwent a scan later in the evening and it was confirmed on the third morning that he wouldn't take part in the day's play, leaving India with four specialist bowlers. It left India relying on Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly bowling 12 overs between them.
MV Sridhar, India's assistant manager, later revealed the extent of the injury. "He will undergo a rehabilitation program, which will be monitored by John Gloster, the physio. He is under constant supervision. We will reassess his situation after two weeks."
Sehwag admitted that the side would miss RP Singh's incisive bowling, given that they were pushing for a victory to square the series. "It helps to have five bowlers because the fast bowlers were tiring," he said on India's decision to play five bowlers for the first time since the Mirpur Test against Bangladesh in May 2007. "When the match started we went with five bowlers and it's unlucky that RP is injured now. But we still have four bowlers and myself, Sachin and Sourav can contribute a bit."
India's most-improved bowler in the last year, RP Singh played a big part in Sydney and Perth. He rattled Australia's top order on the first day in Sydney before claiming six wickets in the memorable win in Perth. He has led the attack manfully, combining well with Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma, and managed to swing the ball in both directions.
It's also a blow for India's chances in the forthcoming CB Series one-day tournament. He is surely out of the Twenty20 international against Australia and will mostly be out of the first three matches of the tri-series, starting on February 3. The earliest he will be expected to return is on February 14, when India take on Sri Lanka in Canberra.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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