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Some balm for Agarkar?s palm

With hand healed, the paceman is now fit for tour of South Africa, reports G Krishnan.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 17:15 IST
G Krishnan

The most experienced medium-pacer in the current Indian team, Ajit Agarkar, has been declared fit for the South African tour. The test was conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doctor, Dr Anant Joshi, at the Bandra-Kurla Complex on Thursday and supervised by Indian team physio John Gloster.

Gloster submitted the fitness report on Wednesday night. The Chief Administrative Officer of the BCCI, Prof Ratnakar Shetty, said on Friday: “Agarkar has been declared fit. He has been practicing with the Mumbai team for the last two days.”

The Mumbaikar with 171 ODI appearances will be on his way to South Africa with the rest of the Indian team. The squad departs on Monday night from Mumbai. Punjab’s VRV Singh was named as a standby in case Agarkar was not declared fit.

Agarkar suffered a crack on the sesamoid bone of his left palm while fielding during the Champions Trophy match against the West Indies on October 26. As a result, he had to miss the crucial game against Australia on October 29 at Mohali.

Agarkar told the Hindustan Times on Friday that he was feeling fit. “I wanted to check how far the finger has improved since the injury,” he said about the fitness test conducted on Thursday. “Fortunately it (the crack) was not in my bowling arm. It did not stop me from bowling but it was painful to grip the bat or even taking catches. Now I am perfectly alright.”

The 28-year-old right-arm bowler said that the pain had reduced a week after getting injured. “It was a bit painful in the first week and then it subsided,” he said. “I was doing some fitness work and bowling was not a problem.”

Agarkar said that he would not have been in a position to play the Mohali game against Australia. “Once the bone was fractured, there was no way I could have played that game,” he said. “Even if it was a ligament tear, it would have been difficult to play. The day after the injury occured, I was in great pain and could not even grip a pin.”