India's tour continued to be plagued by ill-luck with opener Gautam Gambhir being ruled out for the second Test. Yuvraj Singh, who did not play in the first Test, is likely to replace Gambhir.
On Thursday, captain MS Dhoni had said that the team would take a call after assessing how the opener felt during practice. Gambhir has not recovered sufficiently from the hit on his elbow after Matt Prior's full-blooded pull shot had caught his left elbow while he was fielding at short leg on the fourth day of the Lord's Test.
Gambhir tried to bat in the nets but left in discomfort soon. He came back after a break to face throwdowns but quit after playing around a dozen balls.
Gambhir's absence will upset the balance of the batting line-up. Rahul Dravid will open the innings with Abhinav Mukund.
Dhoni is likely to opt for Sreesanth as Zaheer's replacement as he brings the pace factor and is a better fielder, too, than Munaf Patel. The Indian team will be under pressure but the skipper asked his team to look at the positives. "Injuries are beyond our control... let's look at it as a chance for someone to become a hero," said Dhoni.
Dhoni admitted that the team had not had an ideal preparation. "It's not just about warm-up matches. You want your players to be playing international matches and that can only happen if they are fit and part of the side for a couple of months. You want them to have two or three games before they play a big series."
(With background infor from HT correspondent in London)