Kumble and Harbhajan nursing injuries

April 7th, 2008 - 8:02 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Ahmedabad, April 7 (IANS) Injured Indian cricket captain Anil Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh skipped the practice session at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera here Monday. Kumble is suffering from a niggle in his bowling arm, which has troubled him since the first Test while Harbhajan is down with a stomach bug though the word is that he too is nursing an injury.

The skipper will undergo a fitness test Thursday, on the eve of the final Test in Kanpur and Mumbai off-spinner Ramesh Powar has been included in the squad as a cover for him.

If the two world-class spinners fail to recover in time for the Test, it will be a major setback to India’s hopes of squaring the series 1-1, having lost the second Test inside three days here. Their absence will be felt more as talk is that there could be a spinning track at Green Park.

The team management wants to field three spinners in Kanpur, but only one was available Monday. The only spinner who bowled at the nets was Piyush Chawla.

Mohnish Parmar, the off-spinner from Gujarat, too has been called in as a practice bowler.

Comeback man Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, and Gujarat pacer Sidharth Trivedi, who has been highly successful in the domestic season and knows in and out of the track here, steamed up at the nets.

Sreesanth, the only bowler to impress in the second match here, too is down with a nagging shoulder problem and did not bowl in the morning session. Ishant Sharma is expected to join the squad in Kanpur.

Under the circumstances, it may be difficult for India to field four specialist bowlers, let alone five.

Indian team started their practice session early at 9.30 p.m. and were expected to go through till 5.00 p.m. but packed up after only two hours.

In form South African opener Neil Mckenzie, who had a bout of flu in the second Test against India in Ahmedabad, is fit for the third Test in Kanpur, media manager Michael Owen Smith told IANS.

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