Kartik picked up for Tests against South Africa, injured

March 17th, 2008 - 11:15 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
(Intro Roundup)

Bangalore, March 17 (IANS) The almost-forgotten left-arm spinner Murali Kartik was Monday picked up for the 14-member squad for the first two home Tests against South Africa, but soon he was injured and ruled out of the game for three weeks. Injured pacer Ishant Sharma, the find of the recent tour to Australia, was not considered for the first Test, starting this month in Chennai.

Ishant will undergo a fitness test after the first Test, starting March 26, and if found fit will be considered for the last two matches, said Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, while announcing the team here.

Shah also said there are fitness doubts about wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, and that they will undergo fitness tests March 21 here.

“If they are found unfit, they will be replaced by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla,” said Shah.

Chawla was also named as a ‘reserve’ player for Murali Kartik who suffered ligament tear following a fall in a Deodhar Trophy match here after the announcement of the squad. Kartik has been ruled out of the game for three weeks.

Kartik was the big surprise and his selection could have given his sagging career a crucial boost. Now 31, the Delhi-based Kartik played his last Test in November 2004 against South Africa in Kanpur.

Kartik was not even among the 33 players given annual central contracts last September. But he was picked for the One-Day Internationals against Australia late last year. He also played three ODIs against Pakistan that followed at home.

While openers Wasim Jaffer and Virender Sehwag have been retained from the Australian tour, in-form Gautam Gambhir, who missed the Test series in Australia due to a shoulder injury but amassed 440 runs to help India win the Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series, was ignored.

Jaffer, who managed just 49 in the three Tests in Australia, will have to fire in Chennai and Ahmedabad to be able to retain his place for the third match in Kanpur.

Left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh, who missed the Commonwealth Bank Series due to an injury, regained his place.

Another left-arm pacer, Zaheer Khan, has already been ruled out of the series with a heel injury.

Squad: Anil Kumble (captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Rudra Pratap Singh and Murali Kartik

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |