Sreesanth or Munaf Patel for hamstrung Zaheer Khan
Even before they could recover from the loss at Lord’s, India received another blow — Zaheer Khan was unlikely to play the second Test.
That means India will have to chose from either S Sreesanth or Munaf Patel for the pacer's slot at the Trent Bridge Test on Friday.
"I am not hundred percent sure if Zaheer will be fit for the next Test, (but) we still have three days. It’s a long series so we don't want to risk anyone. If we feel a player is just 80-90% and if playing in a game the injury won't aggravate then we will take a call whether to play or not...,” said Dhoni.
Former England pacer Angus Fraser said Patel would be a better option. “Sreesanth swings the ball, while Munaf is an old-fashioned medium pacer. I would go with Munaf. He is potentially a very high quality bowler if he gets more consistent...” said Fraser.
A team source confirmed that the paceman was expected to be fit for the third Test and the team management is not considering a replacement from home at this stage.
India suffered a heavy defeat in the first Test, losing by 196 runs and the pressure will be on the visitors as a defeat in the second Test will almost extinguish their hopes of making a comeback.Zaheer picked up a hamstring injury on the opening day during his 14th over. It put India immediately on the backfoot as the left-arm pace bowler had hit top form straightaway and had troubled the England top-order. It left Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar with a heavy workload to handle. Sharma and Kumar will have just three days to recover from their marathon effort at Lord's.
Experts blamed Zaheer for letting the team down as they feel his injury was caused by poor preparation. But Dhoni defended his bowler.
"Zaheer's is a hamstring injury and for a fast bowler it can happen anytime. While not just bowling, the injury could have happened even when he was running after the ball. Unfortunately, it happened in the first innings. You can't do much about it.”
The team travelled by road on Tuesday afternoon from London to Trentbridge. Despite the huge defeat in the first Test, the players were relatively calm.
"Our team is studded with seasoned campaigners. They have come out of these situations earlier, and are quietly confident about making a comeback this time too. There is no hint of panic,” a team source said.
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