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Zaheer Khan ruled out of series

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Zaheer Khan walks off with a niggle, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 1st day, July 21, 2011

Zaheer Khan, the India fast bowler, has been ruled out of the remainder of the series against England. He will return to India and will be replaced by left-arm seamer RP Singh. Zaheer picked up a hamstring injury during the first Test at Lord’s, but the BCCI has now said he not only has a recurring hamstring problem but also a right ankle impingement that will require surgery followed by a 14-16 week period of rehabilitation


Zaheer’s problems began on the very first day of the series, when he pulled up midway through his 14th over in the first innings at Lord’s. The team management indicated Zaheer could be ready to bowl in the second innings, but he was unable to do so and was ruled out of the second Test at Trent Bridge. There were expectations he would return for the Edgbaston Test but he only got through three overs in the Indians’ warm-up match in Northampton, and has now been pulled out of the squad.


Since the first Test, Zaheer had been through light training sessions, and there had been indications from the India camp that he would take part at some stage in the series, which only grew stronger when he was named in the side for the tour game against Northamptonshire. However, he left the field after bowling just three overs.


India had also named Zaheer in the squad for the limited-over matches in England, but he will miss those as well, with RP Singh taking his place. RP Singh has not played for India since 2009, with his last Test coming during India’s home series against South Africa in 2008.


India have now lost three players from their original squad; Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh were withdrawn after sustaining a stomach and finger injury respectively during the Trent Bridge Test. Zaheer’s injury though has been the biggest setback for the visitors. Even as he was hobbling off at Lord’s, predictions for the series started to swing dramatically in England’s favour. His absence from the next two Tests leaves India with an inexperienced bowling attack, with the 22-year-old Ishant Sharma the most-capped of all the bowlers left in the Test squad.

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