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Zaheer loses fitness battle

Investec Test Series

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Zaheer Khan

India paceman Zaheer Khan has failed to recover from a hamstring injury he sustained in the early stages of the first npower Test against England

India’s hopes of levelling their four-match series against England suffered a blow today when it was confirmed key paceman Zaheer Khan will miss the second npower Test at Trent Bridge due to a hamstring injury.

Zaheer broke down early in the first Test at Lord’s, a match England went on to win by 196 runs.

And Mahendra Singh Dhoni confirmed the 32-year-old would not be risked in Nottingham with the match starting tomorrow.

The India captain said: “He is ruled out for this game.”

Left-armer Zaheer impressed initially at Lord’s with an excellent new-ball spell which saw him dismiss both England openers, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, before pulling up clutching his hamstring in his 14th over.

With Zaheer out, India are likely to choose between back-up bowlers Sreesanth and Munaf Patel.

Coach Duncan Fletcher showed a clear preference for pace during his time in charge of England, suggesting the brisker - but more unpredictable - Sreesanth could get the nod.

Dhoni also revealed Gautam Gambhir is “doubtful at this stage” to play tomorrow as he recovers from a badly bruised elbow.

If Gambhir is unfit, Yuvraj Singh could come into the middle order and Rahul Dravid would be pushed up to open again.

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