Zaheer doubtful for first Test against South Africa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CENTURION - India is likely to leave out pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who is nursing a hamstring injury, for the first cricket Test against South Africa starting here Thursday.

A final decision on Zaheer is yet to be taken, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Wednesday said they would not risk their best bowler ahead of the World Cup.

“Zak (Zaheer) has been our best bowler who has always led the bowling attack, whatever the conditions may be,” Dhoni said on the eve of the first Test.

“He has done really well. It is a blow, but at the same time we have to see the larger picture. We have to think about the World Cup also. We are so close to it and injury to our top players may have a bigger impact, so that’s a bit of a concern. Till we are 100 per cent sure about his fitness and injury, we won’t risk playing him.”

If Zaheer sits out, then either of pace bowler Umesh Yadav or left-arm medium fast Jaidev Unadkat is likely to make a debut.

Shantakumaran Sreesanth, who has also hurt himself during the training session, and Ishant Sharma will be the two regular pacers.

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