Harbhajan sidelined by shin injury

Harbhajan Singh at the Golden Temple in Amritsar AFP

Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner, has been ruled out of Punjab's Ranji Trophy game against Railways, which begins today, because of a shin injury. Uday Kaul will lead the side in Harbhajan's absence.

"Against Saurashtra, Harbhajan first felt this shin pain," Punjab's coach Vikram Rathore told Hindustan Times. "Harbhajan is in touch with a physio from the NCA [National Cricket Academy in Bangalore] and will possibly be going there to recover. He is expected to return for Punjab's next fixture in Jaipur."

Punjab lost their previous match against Saurashtra and have six points after three games. Harbhajan took only two wickets in those games at an average of 102. He was left out of India's squad for the home Test and one-day series against West Indies, as well as the Test series in Australia, after taking only two wickets in two Tests in England before an abdominal muscle injury forced him to return home.

In Harbhajan's absence, offspinner R Ashwin and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha took 22 and 20 wickets in the Test series against West Indies, which India won 2-0, at averages of less than 23. They were both selected in the Test squad for the series in Australia.