India in England, 2007 August 31, 2007

India sweat over Zaheer's ankle



Zaheer Khan twisted his ankle while batting © Getty Images

India received a further jolt at the end of the Old Trafford one-day international with news that Zaheer Khan had twisted his ankle while batting. It was a potential knockout blow for India after the three-wicket loss left them trailing the seven-match series 3-1.

Zaheer, India's bowling spearhead throughout the tour, suffered the injury to his left ankle during his cameo of 20 from 19 balls. He pushed the final ball of the 47th over to the off side but pulled up as he reached the other end. He did not show any signs of discomfort during his first bowling spell but struggled when he returned for his final three overs.

"He came through fine and got through the game," Rahul Dravid said about the injury. "Now it's a question of waiting and watching, seeing how it is in the morning and putting some ice on it. We have got a couple of days [before the next match] and it's a good sign for us that he went through the game and bowled. It might be a bit sore after the game."

Zaheer has put in the most number of overs (228.2) among the Indian bowlers so far on this tour. He had suffered a groin strain before the start of the tour but came through the Tests, ending it as the Man of the Series. He missed the second ODI at Bristol due to a bout of flu but recovered to take part in the next two games.

There was also a minor concern over Yuvraj Singh, who top-scored with 71 and bowled two overs. He appeared in pain towards the end of the game and was well below his athletic best. He seemed to have recovered the next morning, with Rajeev Shukla, the administrative manager, saying, "He's absolutely fine. There is no problem."

India are set to leave for Leeds on Friday afternoon. The fifth ODI is to be held at Headingley on Sunday, a match that they need to win to stay alive in the series.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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