Zaheer to be rested, Harbhajan might be dropped for ODIs
India’s bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan may be rested for the ODI series against England keeping in mind the tight schedule of the Indian team that includes series against West Indies and Australia © Getty Images
Chennai: Aug 5, 2011
Off-colour Harbhajan Singh may not be considered for selection while pace spearhead Zaheer Khan may be rested when the national selectors meet here tomorrow to pick India’s squad for next month’s ODI series against England.
Harbhajan who sustained a Grade-I abdominal tear has been advised four weeks’ rest and is unlikely to get fit in time for the shorter formats beginning with a lone Twenty20 game on August 31 and followed by the five one-dayers from September 3.
According to Board sources, senior pacer Zaheer Khan may be rested for the ODI series keeping in mind the tight schedule of the national team that includes Test series against the West Indies and Australia.
Yuvraj Singh who fractured his left index finger is another doubtful case as it is still not clear as to how much time it would take for him to regain full fitness.
While veteran Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag are likely to be available, Parthiv Patel is likely to replace Wriddhiman Saha as the second keeper as he is considered a better batsman.
Mumbai youngster Rohit Sharma who was awarded the man-of-the-series in West Indies is another certainty along with Tamil Nadu off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel have also sealed their places in the squad. Left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra who had recently bowled at the India nets before Lord’s Test will certainly be an option for the selectors as he has submitted his fitness certificate to the Board.
Paceman Ranganath Vinay Kumar was also in the reckning for a place in the squad considering that conditions in England will favour the quick bowlers.
However there is certainly going to be some debate as to who will be the reserve batsman in the squad. Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane are fighting for that particular slot.