India tour of South Africa 2010-11 January 11, 2011

Injured elbow ends Praveen Kumar's tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ODI series is yet to begin, but Praveen Kumar has become India's third first-choice ODI player to board a flight back home. Praveen has an elbow injury that can't be risked, keeping in mind the proximity of the World Cup, and Ishant Sharma, who must have barely reached India, is coming back as his replacement.

Praveen joins openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir on the injured list. Sehwag's return to India was announced during the Test series, but he stayed back to take part in the deciding Test, in Cape Town. It was a precautionary move to not risk his shoulder before the big event. Gambhir, who missed the second Test with a hand injury, was hit in the elbow during the third Test. He fought the pain to help India save the Test, but had to miss the ODIs.

Praveen, who last played an international match in December 2010 before coming here, is an important part of the Indian team for the World Cup, and hence the team management didn't want to take chances. "With the World Cup also in place, we don't want to risk him," MS Dhoni said. "He has been a very good bowler, irrespective of the conditions, whether we are playing in India or abroad, he has done well for us."

India have grappled continuously with fitness problems over the last two years, wherein they haven't played their first-choice ODI XI since their tour of New Zealand in 2008-09. "It would have been good to feature the main XI," Dhoni said. "Since last February, we haven't played the full XI that will maybe feature in the first game of the World Cup. But we are risking injury. We have to save quite a few players. We have a fair amount of niggles. We don't want to miss any of he key players just before the start of the World Cup. Some of them have missed the whole season. I don't mind them missing one more series as long as they are available right through the World Cup."

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  • Anand on January 11, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    TheHonestCritic I think your team is bang on the money for the 1st WC game ..the only thing I would add is that Munaf shouldnt be a certainty as the 1st seam back up - it should be up for contention between Munaf, Sreesanth and Ishant. Same with backup spinner - Chawla and Ojha are probably contenders with Ashwin. Kohli should be a certainty to start given his current form in the subcontinent - Yuvi, Gambhir and Yusuf should fight out for the remaining 2 slots - Yuvi and Yusuf are slightly ahead in the race IMO with their bowling repertoire along with having recent match experience.

  • Kannan on January 11, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    Ishant gives the impression of an Out-of-Form Javagal Srinath! Both in-swing bowlers except Ishant hasn't swung any in the recent memory! Srinath's inswingers and off cutters would look like wide balls but end up hitting the batsman's crotch! Even at retirement Srinath's top speed (in SA, 2003 World Cup) was 144.6 K mph! Ishant has to improve his core competencies; his in-swing, pace and bounce: the three things that made Ricky Ponting his bunny! If Ishant can't bother with "back to school" approach, it is time to move on!! >>>>>>>> Saurav as selector?? no thank you! Srikkanth's doing a fine job!! let him be!!

  • Dharmendra on January 11, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    Ishant sharma ..I guess he has been called up so that selectors can easily oust him from world cup squad irrespective of his performance in SA series( any guesses .. his performance would be pathetic if he plays anyway) . Just think if unadkat or umesh yadav performed well , then it would have been very difficult for selectors. I think irrespective of performance in this SA series , Indian selectors have already have a Team in mind. 1. Sachin 2.sehwag 3. Gambhir 4.Yuvraj.5 Raina 6.Pathan 7.Dhoni 8.Harbhajan 9 Zaheer 10. praveen 11. Nehra 12. Munaf(backup seamer) 13. Ashwin (backup spinner). 14. Kohli (backup for Gambhir at No 3), 15 - Rohit sharma/S.Tiwary (backup middle order).

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    BCCI can try replacements by domestic top class bowlers from the ranji teams rather than using the half injured bowlers .

  • Rakesh on January 11, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Why not RP Singh or Irfan Pathan. Ishant is SOOOO expensive in ODIs....

  • kirti on January 11, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    i dont think even if ishant is selected dhoni will go with him..if sreesanth or munaf doesnt perform well then only he will get a dont wry..all is well

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    What happened to that guy Umesh Yadav that was being held as a replacement for a seamer in the Tests? Plus he got snapped up in the IPL for a massive sum so maybe there's something there. I think if you're gonna experiment then the BCCI might as well do it now than risk someone in the WC without trialling them first.

  • Rahul on January 11, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    ishant? wat does he have to do to get dropped from the side for good? hes known for a good work ethic but thts all hes got. wat good is a work ethic without ability and performance?

    look at new talent like yadav, unadkat etc.there is no point in playing ishant who just cant put the ball anywhere close to the right places. speed? barely 135, move on dhoni

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    This is really disappointing.. Praveen kumar is the only bowler in india who can swing the ball given the conditions.. nd in south africa he would have just loved to bowl.. this is really a big blow for india.. but bcci does the right thing by trying to keep the players cent percent fit for the world cup.. let these players learn frm dhoni how to maintain their fitness....

  • shibu on January 11, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    SRIKANT ''favourite boy' MURALI VIJAY (now he played 8 ODI matches and can't mark 50 RUNS any single match) if can't play good innings first two matches against S A. who should open with Mr sachin next 3 matches..?? why BCCI didn't select another opener?

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