One had tried to find rationale in the media release that had come on the second day of the first Test match between India and England surrounding Zaheer Khan’s injury. Zaheer, who had pulled out of bowling on the first day, seemed to have suffered from a hamstring strain but the team management had said that while the bowler would not bowl in the first innings, he should be fit to play a part in the second.
Not only did Zaheer fail to bowl in the second innings of the first Test match, he missed the second Test match as well. And then, he managed to bowl only three overs in the warm-up game against Northamptonshire, before having to hobble back to the dressing room with a new ankle-related injury and to be excluded for the rest of the series. It is then, no surprise that Zaheer has now also been ruled out of the remaining two Test matches against England, and the ensuing five-match ODI series.
In short, India’s premier pace bowler is coming back home after being ruled out of competitive cricket for 14-16 weeks. Yes, you read that one right – that is almost three to four months of cricket missed. No surprise that the media management of the team needs to be looked at as closely as the rest of the aspects like injury management and excessive cricket.
This will also mean that Zaheer will miss the Champions League T20 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.
In Zaheer’s place, the selectors have given RP Singh a go in the rest of the Test matches and the ODI series. RP Singh has last played competitive cricket in the IPL for the Kochi Tuskers, while being involved in an international in September 2009. He has often been out with injury and other fitness-related woes and it will be interesting to find out whether he is match-fit enough to come into the side.