Kohli, Ojha to replace Yuvraj, Harbhajan in England (Lead)

August 3rd, 2011 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh L0ondon, Aug 3 (IANS) Injuries to Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh ruled them out of the remaining two cricket Tests against England and in their place batsman Virat Kohli and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha will be joining the India squad.

Yuvraj fractured his left index finger while Harbhajan, who is struggling with form, sustained an abdominal strain during the second Test match at Nottingham that India lost by 319 runs. India are 0-2 down in the four match series and are struggling with injuries and form.

“Harbhajan Singh has a grade-I abdominal muscle strain. Yuvraj will take around four weeks to recover and Harbhajan is likely to recover in three weeks. Both Kohli and Ojha will join the Indian team at the earliest,” N. Srinivasan, secretary of the Indian cricket board, said in a statement.

Yuvraj, who made a Test comeback and scored a gritty half-century in the first innings of the Trent Bridge Test, was injured Monday by a short pitched delivery of Tim Bresnan in the second innings. The southpaw immediately went to a hospital in the neighbouring county of Derby, where doctors referred him to a specialist in London.

Harbhajan bowled just 13.4 overs in the second Test and grabbed one wicket for 69 runs. He returned with figures of one for 218 in the first Test at Lord’s.

Kohli was dropped from the England squad following poor performance on his debut Test series in the West Indies.

Kohli scored only 76 runs in the three Tests in the Caribbean. The Delhi boy, who has carved out a regular place for himself in the One-dayers with consistent performance, will be looking to make the most of the opportunity.

Ojha last played in a Test against New Zealand at Nagpur last year. In 11 Tests he has taken 42 wickets.

He was set to join Surrey for the County Championship and the CB40 one-day competition, but will join the Indian side.

The good news for India is that Virender Sehwag arrived here Wednesday morning and went straight to Northampton where the team will play a two-day warm-up game against Northants starting Friday. Sehwag missed the first two Tests and the West Indies tour since he was recuperating from a shoulder surgery.

Opener Gautam Gambhir and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who missed the second Test, are also expected to be fit for the third Test at Edgbaston starting Aug 10.

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