Dhoni, Harbhajan declared fit for Test series

March 21st, 2008 - 5:52 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Rajkot, March 21 (IANS) India’s ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh were Friday declared fit for the home Test series against South Africa starting Wednesday in Chennai. Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said here in a statement that wicketkeeper Dhoni’s injury in the right hand has healed and Harbhajan has also recovered from his hamstring injury.

Shah said board physiotherapist Paul Close conducted the fitness tests on the duo in Bangalore Friday and, as per his report, both players are fit to play the three-Test series starting Wednesday in Chennai.

An X-ray was done on Dhoni’s injured finger Friday and it revealed no crack. Harbhajan, who played during the entire Australian tour, was confident about clearing his fitness test, which he did at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

Both Dhoni and Harbhajan were named in the 14-member squad for the first two Tests Monday. However, as a precautionary measure, the selectors had named wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla as standbys.

A few days earlier, Test captain Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Rudra Pratap Singh and Vikram Rajvir Singh had also been declared fit following fitness tests in Bangalore.

Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan will, however, miss at least the first two Tests because of his heel injury. The left-arm bowler played just one of the four Tests in Australia before injury forced him to return home.

He missed India’s Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series triumph, and went to South Africa for treatment of his heel. He has still not fully recovered.

The second Test will be played in Motera, Ahmedabad, from April 3 and the third in Kanpur, starting April 11.

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