India in England 2011 August 7, 2011

Zaheer ruled out of series

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan, the India fast bowler, has been ruled out of the remainder of the series against England. He will return to India and will be replaced by left-arm seamer RP Singh. Zaheer picked up a hamstring injury during the first Test at Lord's, but the BCCI has now said he not only has a recurring hamstring problem but also a right ankle impingement that will require surgery, followed by a 14-16 week period of rehabilitation. He had been withdrawn from the squad for India's recent Test series in the West Indies due to a right ankle injury.

Zaheer's problems in this series began on the very first day of the series, when he pulled up midway through his 14th over in the first innings at Lord's. The team management indicated Zaheer could be ready to bowl in the second innings, but he was unable to do so and was ruled out of the second Test at Trent Bridge. There were expectations he would return for the Edgbaston Test but he only got through three overs in the Indians' warm-up match in Northampton, and has now been pulled out of the squad.

Since the first Test, Zaheer had been through light training sessions, and there had been indications from the India camp that he would take part at some stage in the series, which only grew stronger when he was named in the side for the tour game against Northamptonshire. However, he left the field after bowling just three overs.

India had also named Zaheer in the squad for the limited-over matches in England, but he will miss those as well, with RP Singh taking his place. RP Singh has not played for India since 2009, with his last Test coming during India's home series against South Africa in 2008. He was part of India's squad when they last toured England for a full series in 2007. India won the three-Test series 1-0, and RP Singh was the third-highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets at an average of 28.91, behind Anil Kumble and Zaheer.

He followed up the tour of England with 13 wickets on India's tour of Australia in 2007-08, but then went wicketless in India's two home Tests against South Africa. His form in ODIs also took a dip; he took three wickets in ten bowling innings from August 2008 to when he was dropped in September 2009, and went for more than six runs an over in eight of those innings. His recent figures in domestic cricket don't make great reading either. In the last two Ranji Trophy seasons he has averaged 31.55, and has been behind several other seamers in the wicket-taking charts. One format in which he has excelled though has been the Twenty20 format; he is the leading wicket-taker in IPLs.

India have now lost three players from their original squad; Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh were withdrawn after sustaining a stomach and finger injury respectively during the Trent Bridge Test. Zaheer's injury though has been the biggest setback for the visitors. Even as he was hobbling off at Lord's, predictions for the series started to swing dramatically in England's favour. His absence from the next two Tests leaves India with an inexperienced bowling attack, with the 22-year-old Ishant Sharma the most-capped of all the bowlers left in the Test squad.

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  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    right now it looks tough.

    we can hope with confidence that with sachin firing all his cyllinders and so abt sehwag and consistant lakshman and dravid can manage their way, India will be a different team. But will this happen?

    But england right now is bowling so tight that passing away the time at crease itself has become like a self prison and any attempts to wriggle out is happening by a restless shot ending up as catch/lbw.

    And our bowling definetly calls for our traditional strength. how about ozha and mishra both play along side 3 pacers ishant, srisanth and munaf/RP, the other 6 can be sehwag, gambhir, sachin, dravid, dhoni and vvs expecting atleast 5 click.

    kohli/raina to be considered needs us to doubt on the form of our captain dhoni whic indeed is a concern.and so we end up going with 4 bowlers and 7 batters including dhoni.This results in our resources falling short in bowling against strong english batting. and 4 cannot catch all 20 wkts of england.

  • FAZ on August 9, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    ******the title of this article should be:********** Zaheer Khan - indian slow left arm bowler injuired.

  • Milind on August 9, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    India selectors should concern Sir Ajit Agarkar ahead of R.P.Singh....Aggy will swing ball both the way and provide useful batting like broad and he is far more experiance player too..evn more dan Zaheer.. lol

  • kumar on August 9, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    @Stuart Brooking, @Valavan, talking about key players? What if Broad and Peiterson (key players) had not played in first test? You are typical ENG supporter who wants winning at any cost. I said ENG is playing better. India is also performing badly currently but it can get be normal soon. We just believe in our team. If you really want to feel ENG as King then come out of ENG and win matches. Seriously you are over excited. 7-8 players of ENG team is on and above 30s and how do you think ENG team is young? ENG players can retire anytime after 30s. Well how is it going to affect ENG when Gavaskar, Sastri are expressing their concerns of their own team's injuries? On the other hand ENG coach and players are intruding into India's issues and insulting Indian players in media and on the field. Was that not Mind-game? Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan are behaving as if they are appointed only for mind games. Is this professionalism?

  • kan on August 9, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    it is high time Zaheer quit all forms of T20 including likes of IPL and CL, if he has to prolong his international career, he should concentrate only on Test and ODIs, anyway as a aging fast bowler he would find increasily difficult to cope with T20s, no doubt he is a much better Test bowler than T20 bowler, it will be a big big mistake if Zaheer decides to quit test cricket some day to prolong his ODI and T20 career.

  • Raj on August 9, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    RP Singh is totally flop. Better we should have gone with swinging bowler like Balaji. I am sure Balaji is out of context. He should be given chance when pitch is assisting swing.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    RP is the only indian bowler who could replace zak. am confident he will make it. and i think his style, runup, rhythm he bowls is great. i love him. he will grab this chance for sure.

  • Vincent on August 9, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    If not for anything RP Singh seems to be the just candidate as an add on to this diplated attack of ours due to his uncanny knack of generating some sort luck of all things if not either for swing or seam at the right time each and every time i have observed him bowl at least during his medium best spells (and that too clean bowled victims).... As of now even a 2 piece bit of luck is seriously required by this Indian bowling attack to taste victory. RP should be included in the 3rd test for this added edge. He would be a better bet than Sehwag in terms of luck or X - Factor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Arun Kumar on August 9, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Broad, Bresnan & Swann would not only make difference with the ball but also heavily with the BAT. Its sad to see Indians in such a miserable situation!!!

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    India will go back to its winnings ways soon again and England will go back to its losing ways.. as always ;) Just chill and watch. Its just 2 matches. Indians are just relaxing after the world cup win. :)

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