Smith to play in second Test with a fractured finger

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> South African captain Graeme Smith will play in the second and final Test against India starting at the Eden Gardens on Sundayting team management said.

Updated: February 13, 2010 15:25 IST
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Despite fracturing his little finger, South African captain Graeme Smith will play in the second and final Test against India starting at the Eden Gardens on Sundayting team management said.

South Africa's think tank decided to include Smith in the playing XI of the second Test after the left-hander had two net sessions today, where he seemed to be at ease while batting.

"The injury will not stop him (Smith) from playing. We never ruled him out," South Africa's media manager Michael Owen-Smith said.

Earlier in the day Smith, however, didn't rule himself out completely and said he would take a final call after the training and practice sessions.

"There is a fracture in one joint of the small finger on the left hand side. It's really about dealing with pain from that perspective," the Protea skipper had said.

At the nets, Smith was seen batting in two phases, playing cuts, sweep shots with equal ease although doctors here had advised him at least seven to 10 days rest.

Till yesterday, the South Africa team management denied reports of Smith having fractured his finger and termed it a ligament damage.

I had an X-ray at the ground and then had an MRI late afternoon yesterday. The decisions were made by the doctors last night," Smith said.

The left-handed opener, who has had in the past dealt with injury blows and yet turned out for the match, said it's not about the pain but about how you contribute to the side being the captain.

"The big question is whether you will be able to contribute and give your best to the team. That's the question you need to answer especially as a leader.

"Your objective is to contribute and be professional. You need to be able to compete at that these are the things you need to answer going into the Test match," said the 29-year-old.

"I would not think that (about playing with the injury). We have got things in place and I am confident that I can deal with the pain and get through it. There were couple of injuries in last few months and I have got through reasonably well. Injury is part of every sportsmen's career," he said.

While fielding at slips during the nets yesterday, Smith injured his left little finger.

This is for the third time in last two years that Smith has been rocked by an injury. During IPL in April 2008, he had suffered a tennis elbow that ruled him out of three ODIs against England.

Later, he broke his hand in a Test against Australia in Sydney. He missed the subsequent ODI series and decided to delay the surgery on his injured tennis elbow until after the return series against the Australians at home last year.

Meanwhile, after the team's practice session Nagpur Test man-of-the-match Hashim Amla went for a dental check up.

However, the team management ruled out anything serious, saying it was a routine check.

Having thrashed India by an innings and six runs, South Africa are 1-0 up in the two-Test series and they just need a draw in the Eden Test to regain their number one status in ICC Test rankings.

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