England v India, 4th npower Test, The Oval, 1st day August 18, 2011

Praveen sidelined by ankle injury

Praveen Kumar has joined India's long list of injured players on the tour of England, missing the fourth Test at The Oval because of an injury to his left ankle. Praveen sustained the injury during the second innings of the third Test at Edgbaston, which India lost by an innings and 242 runs to give up the No. 1 Test ranking.

Praveen's unavailability further depleted an Indian attack already missing its spearhead - Zaheer Khan. Zaheer played no more part in India's campaign after limping out of the first innings at Lord's with a hamstring problem. It was later revealed that he also had an ankle injury, for which he had surgery in London on August 15.

"Praveen Kumar was suffering from pain in his left ankle from an injury sustained while bowling in the second innings of the third Test between England and India at Edgbaston," Anirudh Chaudhary, India's team manager, said. "Treatment was administered to him and he has been responding well. However, there are still some residual symptoms in his ankle due to which he was ruled out of the fourth Test."

The intrigue over Praveen's availability at The Oval remained until the toss, when MS Dhoni said RP Singh would play ahead of Munaf Patel in Praveen's absence.

Praveen was India's best bowler on the tour, and the third highest wicket-taker in the series, after Stuart Broad and James Anderson, with 15 wickets. He bowled seven overs on the third morning at Edgbaston, before returning late in the afternoon to bowl what turned out to be the penultimate over of the innings, with England declaring at the fall of Alastair Cook's wicket. Next morning Praveen injured his right thumb off the fourth ball he faced, trying to fend off a short-ball from Anderson.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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