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Zaheer limps out of England series

Raising serious doubts about the India team’s injury management, Zaheer Khan was ruled out of the England tour on Sunday. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Summer over for Zaheer

cricket Updated: Aug 08, 2011 03:19 IST

Raising serious doubts about the India team’s injury management, Zaheer Khan was ruled out of the England tour on Sunday. While everyone was under the impression that the bowler was in discomfort due to a strained hamstring, which he suffered during the first Test at Lord’s, the reason for his early departure also includes an ankle injury.

His ankle problem is the reccurrence of an old injury. Zaheer had missed the West Indies tour due to a right ankle injury. He had completed his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy and was picked for the England tour after being declared fit. But as it now emerges, he not only has a recurring hamstring problem but also a right ankle impingement that will require surgery, followed by 14-16 weeks of rehabilitation. It effectively sidelines him until the end of the year.

It is learnt that opinion is divided in the Indian camp on whether they should have taken an early call on Zaheer’s injury. Given the seriousness of the injury, some key members of the team management were not very confident he would be able to recover in time, but the bowler wanted to give himself a chance of getting fit. He had the backing of some senior members in the camp as well. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/08_08_11-metro3c.jpg

The Indian attack has not looked penetrative enough to bowl out England twice and the team management is desperate for options. An early replacement would have given them the chance to have a thorough look at the additional player. Now, it is too late for them to consider RP Singh, his replacement, for the third Test. The left-arm pacer is not in the same class as Zaheer but can be effective in English conditions.