Centurion:Indian pace bowler S Sreesanth has suffered an injury scare just before the first match of the three-Test series against South Africa starts at Centurion on Thursday.
The man who bowled a match-winning spell in 2006 to give India their only Test win on South African soil, hurting himself during a training session in Centurion.
Sreesanth, who had match figures of 8 for 99 in India's memorable win at the Wanderers four years ago, had told news agency PTI before leaving for South Africa that he believes Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team can defeat the Proteas on their own turf.
Sreesanth's injury is not good news for the team management that is already sweating over Zaheer Khan's fitness. The groin injury that forced Zaheer to miss part of the Test and ODI series against New Zealand hasn't fully healed. Which means there are question marks over the match fitness of two strike bowlers.
This hasn't been a good year for Zaheer's body. He missed the whole of the tour of Sri Lanka with an injury to the same shoulder that was operated on two years ago. He started his comeback through the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa and did well in the home Tests against Australia before getting injured again.
That leaves Ishant Sharma, newcomers Jayadev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav as the other pace options. But apart from Sharma, the other two are too inexperienced.
The team is hopeful Zaheer will make it to the first Test starting Thursday, but, should he be ruled out, India have Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat to choose from - unless they want to go with two spinners, in which case Pragyan Ojha will come in.
"It will be important for us to adapt to the conditions. Yet I believe we will be better prepared than before, because the guys have played here in the IPL and in the Champions League and it is not that foreign to them," Dhoni said.
"The most important thing is to remain focused and well prepared for what awaits us," the India skipper added.
"As far as Sachin (Tendulkar) is concerned, he has toured South Africa more than 2 or 3 times, along with some of the other senior players in the side, so of-course his experience will really count," the wicketkeeper added.