India in Sri Lanka 2010 July 6, 2010

Injured Zaheer out of Sri Lanka tour

Cricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan, India's strike fast bowler, has been ruled out of the forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka due to a shoulder injury. The tour includes three Tests, followed by a tri-series in Dambulla, also involving New Zealand. The BCCI, in a statement, has announced that the Karnataka fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun will replace him.

Zaheer was rested for the recent tour of Zimbabwe in order to preserve himself for the busy season ahead. He participated in the Asia Cup in Dambulla and played in all four of India's games. The BCCI did not reveal the cause of the injury or for how long he has been adviced to rest. The indication is that he will miss the Test leg of the tour, at least, as the squad for the ODI tri-series will be announced later.

Zaheer however didn't reveal much in his Twitter feed: "Shoulder is troubling me a little need to sort it out ...hope to be back soon ... Important season ahead ..."

Zaheer's absence will come as a big blow to India, whose fast bowlers haven't been up to the mark of late, due to injuries and loss of form. That leaves a lot of responsibility on the likes of Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth to carry the attack in Sri Lanka.

Mithun has been on the fringes for the last few months after performing impressively for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, where he was the tournament's highest wicket-taker. He was rewarded with a call-up to the national squad for the Tests against South Africa earlier this year and an international debut in the ODIs that followed. He was withdrawn from the India A squad in England to replace the injured seamer Vinay Kumar in Zimbabwe, but didn't get a game. He rejoined his team-mates in England for the one-dayers and in his most recent outing on Friday, taking 3 for 49 against West Indies A.

The tour begins on July 18 with the first Test in Galle.