England in India 2012-13 November 13, 2012

Ishant down with viral fever

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ishant Sharma, the India fast bowler, is struggling with viral fever but is expected to be fit for the first Test against England, which starts on Thursday. The BCCI has named Bengal fast bowler Ashok Dinda as a standby.

Ishant has missed cricket for much of the year due to an ankle problem which needed surgery. He returned to the India squad for the New Zealand series three months ago, but didn't get to play as Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav were preferred.

The standby player, Dinda, has played 10 ODIs and five T20Is for India but is yet to make his Test debut. Dinda had a strong start to the domestic season, taking nine in the Duleep Trophy match against South Zone, but his form has tapered off since. In four subsequent first-class matches, he has only managed four wickets for 316 runs.

It is unlikely that either of Ishant or Dinda will get to play the first Test in Ahmedabad as India are expected to go in with Zaheer and Yadav as the fast bowlers, with two spinners to complete the attack.

Ishant missed India's two-and-a-half hour practice session in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, while Zaheer, who was a slight fitness concern after walking off from his Ranji match against Railways with a groin problem, took part.