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Zaheer doubtful for Leeds match

The Indian paceman who had suffered an injury at Old Trafford, is a doubtful starter for the 5th ODI against England at Leeds.

cricket Updated: Sep 02, 2007 02:45 IST

Indian paceman Zaheer Khan, who suffered an ankle injury at Old Trafford, was a doubtful starter for Sunday's crucial one-day cricket match against England at Leeds.

Indian skipper Rahul Dravid said the fast bowler, who suffered the injury while batting but still turned up to bowl 10 fiery overs when England batted, was under observation and the final decision would be taken before the toss.

"We are just monitoring the situation. He's on ice and being treated by the physio. There has been some good improvement over the last 24 hours. We have another 24 hours to go and he'll undergo a fitness test before we take a final decision," Dravid said.

Although Zaheer turned up at the ground during the nets he did not take part in the practice session. "I'm not worried about his practice, he has bowled a lot. If his ankle holds up, it should be great. The positive thing about it is that he was injured while batting but he could still bowl. It was a bit swollen after the game but that has come down."

Asked whether Zaheer could be played even if he wasn't fully fit, Dravid made his stand clear. "If he's not fit, he's not fit. There won't be any issues on it. We will play someone else. There's a of cricket to be played in the season ahead."
With doubts over Zaheer's fitness, there's a good chance of India playing an extra batsmen in Robin Uthappa. Sourav Ganguly too missed the practice session due to illness. However, Dravid said it was nothing to worry about.

"Sourav is unwell so he hasn't come for practice. But he is okay and should be fit for the game." Dravid also said Munaf Patel was improving.

"There are no injury problems with him. He hasn't bowled well. He has been inconsistent. But he's improving and bowling well in the nets. He just needs to get some more bowling."