Zaheer rested in England’s first innings at Lord’s (Lead)

July 22nd, 2011 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 22 (IANS) India’s pace spearhead Zaheer Khan missed the second day’s play of the first Test against England at Lord’s here Friday with a hamstring strain but is expected to bowl in the second innings.

Zaheer underwent an MRI scan and he has been rested in the first innings, though he has not been ruled out from the entire Test. Zaheer had also missed the West Indies series due to an ankle injury.

“Zaheer had strained his hamstring during the course of the first day’s play. He is undergoing treatment which is being administered by the team physio. He may be unavailable to bowl in the first innings but is likely to be fit to bowl in the second innings,” said team manager Anirudh Chaudhry.

Zaheer, who was the most impressive India bowler on the first day, pulled up half way through his 14th over and limped off the field and did not reappear, leaving India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni with just three front-line bowlers.

India coach Duncan Fletcher admitted that Zaheer’s injury was a blow.

“It is always difficult for a batsman on a wicket like that but Zaheer is really a clever bowler. Having chatted to him about his thoughts on how he bowls you see that he is a quality bowler and he showed it here. Zaheer bowled very well and him going off was a big blow. If he had stayed on he could have got us that third wicket, so it was a big loss for us,” said Fletcher.

Zaheer’s absence will be big bonus for the England batsmen, who found it difficult to handle and the left-arm pacer expectedly picked up England captain Andrew Strauss and his opening partner Alastair Cook.

Zaheer’s career has been plagued with injuries and he spent nearly two years to overcome a hamstring problem suffered on a tour of Australia in 2003.

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