Balaji to replace injured Munaf in Sri LankaFebruary 2nd, 2009 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) Lakshmipathy Balaji has earned a national call after nearly three years and will replace injured fast bowler Munaf Patel for the rest of India’s One-day cricket series in Sri Lanka.Munaf injured his groin during a warm-up game and bowled just five overs in the first ODI and was subsequently left out of the second match in Colombo paving the way for the 27-year-old Balaji to make a comeback in international cricket. Munaf, who has a history of injuries, will undergo a rehabilitation process and would need more than a week to get fit.
Balaji last played an ODI in Sri Lanka in August 2005 before a back surgery forced him out of the game. He will fly to Colombo Monday night.
Last year he made a comeback with a remodelled action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with runners-up Chennai Super Kings and picked up 11 wickets from nine games including a hat-trick.
Balaji also played a crucial role to take Tamil Nadu to the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy this season, taking 36 wickets from seven games at an average of 17.5.