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Injured Yuvi may miss England Tests

The hero of India's Pakistan tour tore a muscle in his left leg during final ODI.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 18:34 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Yuvraj Singh, India's batting star on the Pakistan tour, could miss the upcoming Test series against England because of a hamstring injury, team officials said on Monday.

The left-hander tore a muscle in his left leg during a match-winning 107 not out in Sunday's fifth and final one-dayer against Pakistan in Karachi, which India won by eight wickets to clinch the series 4-1.

Yuvraj, who was on 82 when he pulled up while completing a run, was treated on the field by team physiotherapist John Gloster and continued to bat with the help of a runner.

He hobbled off the field after victory was secured, and captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell feared the worst ahead of the first Test against England starting in Nagpur on March 1.

"We won't really know for another couple of days, but I would think he must be in serious doubt for the first Test," newspapers quoted Chappell as saying in Karachi. "I'd say he is going to miss a few games."

Dravid admitted Yuvraj's injury "was a bit of a worry".

"We will soon know how serious the injury is and when he can play again. But I have to admit it's a bit of a worry."

Yuvraj himself said he could be out of the game for some time.

"Let's hope it is not for long, but it does not feel too good at the moment," the 24-year-old said.

Yuvraj has 10 days to recover before the first Test starts but it is uncertain if the selectors will risk naming him in the squad when they meet in Vadodara on Thursday.

The second Test will be played in Mohali from March 9-13 and the third in Mumbai from March 18-22.

Yuvraj hit 344 runs in the five one-dayers against Pakistan at an average of 172. He had earlier scored 122 in the final Test match in Karachi which the hosts won by 351 runs to take the series 1-0.

Yuvraj's injury is almost certain to help former captain Sourav Ganguly retain his place in the middle-order for the first Test.

Ganguly, who was sacked as captain after a bitter spat with Chappell last September, was a controversial selection for the Test series against Pakistan before being dumped for the one-dayers.

The left-hander did not get to bat in the first Test in Lahore, was dropped for the second in Faisalabad and made 34 and 37 in the third Test in Karachi.

A place was created for Ganguly in the middle-order in Karachi only because Dravid opted to open the innings himself with Virender Sehwag in place of two specialist openers, Wasim Jaffar and Gautam Gambhir.

Dravid indicated after the Karachi Test that he may revert to the middle-order for the England series, leaving Ganguly and Yuvraj in contention for the number six spot behind Sachin Tendulkar and Venkatsai Laxman.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 13:49 IST