Zaheer doubtful for Australia series

Jan 30, 2013, 18:38 IST | IANS

Senior left-arm pacer, who was injured during Mumbai's last league game against Gujarat, appears in doubt for at least the initial part of the four-Test series against Australia.

India's left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan is a doubtful starter for the four-match Test series against Australia since he has been advised three weeks' rest for a calf injury and will also miss the Irani Cup match against Rest of India.

The first Test against Australia is scheduled to start from Feb 22 in Chennai.

Zaheer was Wednesday left out of the 15-member Mumbai squad after he failed to recover from the calf injury that he picked up during the Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat.

Zaheer was dropped from the Test squad due to poor form after the third Test against England in Kolkata last month. It was the first time Zaheer was dropped from the Test side since his phenomenal return to the team in 2006-07.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan was injured during Mumbai's last Ranji league game against Gujarat. File Pic/AFP

This is the first time he has been dropped from the Test side after his rousing comeback in 2006-07. He had taken 15 wickets in eight Tests in 2012 and during the first three Tests against England he managed just four. He was also left out of the subsequent ODI series against Pakistan and England.

In the Ranji Trophy, Zaheer took a five-wicket haul in Mumbai's thrilling win against Madhya Pradesh. But in the next match against Gujarat that he led, he didn't bowl in the second innings. The injury also ruled him out of the knockout stages as Mumbai went to lift the title for the 40th time.

Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, who also missed the later stages of the Ranji Trophy matches due to national duty, have been included in the Mumbai side and will bolster the batting line-up along with Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer and Abhishek Nayar.

Ajit Agarkar will lead Mumbai against the Virender Sehwag-led Rest of India. The Irani Cup will be played at the Wankhede stadium from Feb 6.

Mumbai squad: Ajit Agarkar (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kaustubh Pawar, Abhishek Nayar, Hiken Shah, Aditya Tare (wicketkeeper), Ankeet Chavan, Javed Khan, Shardul Thakur, Vishal Dabholkar. 

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