India in West Indies 2011 June 10, 2011

Zaheer, Sreesanth to miss West Indies Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth have been ruled out of the Test series against West Indies, further weakening an Indian squad already missing several first-choice players. Zaheer has a right ankle problem, Sreesanth has a right elbow problem and both are undergoing rehabilitation. Medium-pacers Abhimanyu Mithun and Praveen Kumar have been named as their replacements in the Test squad.

Shoulder injuries to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had forced the selectors to opt for a pair of inexperienced openers in M Vijay and the uncapped Abhinav Mukund. Sachin Tendulkar wanted to spend some time with his family and opted out of the tour as well.

While the batting was hit hard by these withdrawals, the bowling initially had a stronger look with Zaheer - who skipped the limited-overs leg of the tour - expected to lead a full-strength attack in the Caribbean. His and Sreesanth's absence will now add further fuel to the debate on the impact of a cramped IPL schedule on the Indian team.

Zaheer's long-standing struggle with various injuries have caused him to miss games regularly. A shoulder injury made him miss India's tour of Sri Lanka last year, and he was forced to sit out of Tests against New Zealand and South Africa due to groin and hamstring strains.

Sreesanth hasn't been far behind on the injured list, returning home last year from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after damaging his thigh and knee.

It has taken the absence of the first-choice bowlers again for Mithun to make a return after impressing during his debut Test series in Sri Lanka last year. He was ignored for the South Africa tour that followed, with the selectors opting for Umesh Yadav and Jaidev Unadkat.

Praveen, who is currently playing the ODI series in West Indies, is a regular for India in the limited-overs format. He has played 50 one-dayers but is yet to play a Test.

The Test squad was expected to leave for the West Indies on Sunday, June 12, but the departure has now been delayed.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • al on June 13, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    @Mayur Lookhar: reaped benfits by blooding in Ishant & Irfan ? Somehow I fail to catch sarcasm in your tone.

  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Once again our selectors have erred bi picking d wrong men. Kumar and Patel. The need of the hour was to blood in rookie pacers like Deepak Chahar or Varun Aaron.

    History shows that the greatest fast bowlers were exposed to Test cricket when they played either few or none first-class games. If one has the pace, then why burn him out on docile tracks in domestic cricket. It's not that India is alien to this theory. We reaped the benefits of blooding in Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan in their teens

    Praveen Kumar, he's swinging the ball in helpful conditions; his pace lingers around the 65-77 mph mark. Not the prerequisite for a top Test bowler. In all probability, India will field two seamers and two spinners, and Kumar is likely to warm the bench. However, if Patel or Ishant were to pull up on the eve of the match, Kumar might then make his Test debut. His utility will purely lie with the new ball, but once it gets old, he doesn't have the pace or skill to get wickets.

  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    @rumy: Why do you want Jaffer in of all the players. A sure sign of going back in time and trying a tried and tested failure.

  • Prakash on June 12, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    and since Mithun is also in the side now,I think India wud cosider Ishant,Patel and Mithun/Kumar if they intend to play 3 pacers.I am not sure if pitches will be same for the test matches too. If this is the case India should play two spinners and they would be Harbhajan and Mishra.Mishra is bowling well and definitely needs to be nurtured for future.This is for the first time when Indian batting looks depleted too but then the young players have great opportunity ahead of them.Rohit Sharma should be picked up in the test team and should be given opportunity.He is a good stroke maker.Kohli will definitely make his Debut.Vijaya needs to cash this opportunity and he is capable.Dravid and laxman are the experiences and they should understand their role responsibly.Raina should look to play long innings.Dhoni has his own ways and methods of captaining the side but has been successful on many occasions,It wud be interesting to sse how he uses his limited resorces this time arouund. :)

  • Prakash on June 12, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Absence of Zaheer will surely be felt.He is the most deceptive bowler in the world cricket at this moment. The excess cricket can be blamed but if u look at number of overs he bowled in IPL was hardly 55-60.which is equivalent to 2 tests matches hardly.but we need to have practice sessions in consideration. It is really sad to see players being available for their franchise teams but opting out when they are should be their for their country.This shows how money minded players have become in past few years. The advent of IPL has ruined attitude as well as stamina of players.Sreesanth is a good fast bowler but rarely bowls well.He misses the attitude.Thankfully Ishant is available and let's hope he doesn't meet any injury during the tour.He is quick and can be a lethal bowler if he is used right.Dhoni and team should inspire him and instill him with confidence.He will be spearhead of Indian attack.I wud be greatly surprised if India opens with pravin n' patel in test matches too.

  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    for england tests ojha should be picked because of k pieterson's problem with left arm spin

  • Munawar on June 12, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Of the available players, my Test XI for Carribean matches:

    Jaffer, Dravid, Badrinath, VVS Laxman, Rohit Sharma, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Amit Mishra, Munaf, Irfan Pathan/RP and Ishant.

    My Test XI for England matches: Sehwag, Jaffer, Dravid, Tendulkar, VVS, Badrinath, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Amit Mishra, Munaf and Zaheer.

    For lack of adequate international Test match level skills and temperament, likes of Kohli, Raina, Vijay and Mukund were left out.

  • Munawar on June 12, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    For Tests, Abhimanyu Mithun was absolutely a NO as were M.Vijay and Mukund. Srikkanth and his jokers must correct themselves and bring in Irfan Pathan or RP Singh and of course WASIM JAFFER. Without a doubt, both bowlers are much more skilled than Mithun and they add good experience to a needy team. Irfan has progresed well with every game in IPL whereas Mithun disappointed with every game. WASIM JAFFER with a healthy Test average backed by a double century in Carribeans plus possessing the best domestic batting record of last 3 seasons, was way ahead of Mukund / Vijay. But what to do..JAFFER is not a Tamilian and so aren't RP / Irfan. JAFFER is still ahead in terms of skill, technique, temperament, fitness than even Gambhir so what to talk of Vijay or Mukund. Mukund and Vijay are horses for dead tracks. JAFFER'S technique/ skill were required to deal with bouncy tracks of Sabina Park and Barbados or swinging tracks in England. Sehwag [if available] and JAFFER would be ideal as openers

  • Rajesh on June 12, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Indian cricket lovers will not complain of excessive cricket for their stars as we get a chance to see the " material" of the so called stars in waiting. I really hope that Kohli and Rohit seal their test places with so magnificent performances. Vijay is really wasting a spot at the top. He clicks once in a blue moon. However he is lucky that when you see who is behind Gambhir and Viru for a test opening spot, we dont see anyone in the horizon. With Pujara / Badri, Raina, Rohit and Kohli as the backbone of the Indian middle order for the future, Indian test batting looks good on paper.Mukund would consider himself unlucky unless he can bat down the order and battle with the above mentioned guys.With MSD, Gambhir and Viru to add to the batting, we really can think of the unthinkable so far- to ease out the big three from the test scene in a phased manner so that we dont go the Aussie way.

  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    @ Jay Kamdar @ cris89 Cheteshwar Pujara was injured in the IPL. He is our future no. 3 batsman, a technically sound yet bravehearted run-machine. The Test Team for England will be totally different. With 6 or 7 players getting replaced. My choice for England would be- 1) Gambhir 2) Sehwag 3) Dravid 4) Tendulkar 5) Laxman 6) Pujara 7) Dhoni 8) Harbhajan 9) Zaheer 10) Ishant 11) Sreesanth R Ashwin or A Mishra could be tried out if the conditions are conducive to spin.

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