India, England with injury worries for 2nd test

India and England could each be without their bowling spearhead for the teams' second test at Trent Bridge starting from Friday.

Updated: July 28, 2011 19:10 IST
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Nottingham: India and England could each be without their bowling spearhead for the teams' second test at Trent Bridge starting from Friday.

Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of the tourists' line-up because of the hamstring injury that prevented him from bowling in the second innings of England's 196-run win at Lord's, while opening batsman Gautam Gambhir is a major doubt with an elbow injury.

"We will take it as a positive," India captain Mahendra Signh Dhoni said. "It gives a chance for somebody else to be a hero."

England may be missing Chris Tremlett. The paceman left Thursday's practice session for treatment and could be replaced by Tim Bresnan.

"He's had a bit of a niggle with his hamstring," England captain Andrew Strauss said. "We're confident he should be OK but we'll see how he is in the morning."

"You've always got to weigh these things in: it's a short turnaround between test matches but we're not going to pick someone in the side unless we're sure he is 100 percent fit and able to get through the full five days."

Strauss said Bresnan would be a more than adequate replacement if needed.

"Tim Bresnan's certainly never let anyone down when he's played for us," Strauss said. "He was outstanding in Australia, he's getting better and better and in many ways he's unfortunate not to be in the side. If he does come in he'll do very well."

Pacemen Munaf Patel, who has played only one test in more than two years, and Sreesanth are the contenders to replace Khan, who has the most wickets of any Indian bowler at Nottingham — 12 at 20.33 from two tests. Yuvraj Singh is Gambhir's most likely replacement.

"Being the world No. 1, the India team has conquered a lot of challenges on the way here," opening batsman Abhinav Mukund said. "We've come here to take up this challenge, and will definitely give it a good fight."

Dhoni said on Thursday lunch time that Khan, the leader of the tourists' attack, would not be risked.

"He's been our strike bowler for a long time," Mukund said. "But Ishant (Sharma) has been doing really well - he was the man of the series in the West Indies — and Praveen Kumar has taken five wickets (at Lord's). Sreesanth is waiting in the wings as well, so it's not that we have a depleted attack."

Notoriously slow starters to test series, India is expected to put up more of a fight in Nottingham, although the side will again be without opener Virender Sehwag as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

"When any team gets beaten, they generally come back stronger and have more fire in their belly," said England swing bowler James Anderson, who took 5-65 to help bowl India out for 261 on the fifth day at Lord's.

"All we can do is concentrate on our game, prepare well the next couple of days and concentrate on that first hour on Friday."

England, which needs to win the series by at least a two-match margin to supplant India as the world's No. 1 test side, named an unchanged squad but may have to draft in Tim Bresnan to replace Tremlett.

And coach Andy Flower believes controversy is just around the corner because of the tourists' refusal to adopt the Decision Review System.

There is growing concern within the home camp that the lack of DRS could lead to frayed tempers in the remaining three tests. Though it has recently softened its stance on other aspects of the system, India remains firmly opposed to the ball-tracking used by DRS as it believes the technology is not foolproof.

Umpire Billy Bowden turned down Stuart Broad's lbw appeals against Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina at Lord's, though replays indicated the decisions were incorrect.

It didn't affect the outcome, but Flower says the situation is "unsatisfactory" and is predicting trouble.

"It would have been wrong if the outcome of the game had been seriously affected by a couple of those decisions," Flower said. "It's unsatisfactory the way it is, there is no doubt about that."

Broad may have been denied those two wickets but the paceman did claim seven other scalps over the two innings, returning to form after a disappointing series against Sri Lanka earlier this summer.

Bowling a fuller length, Broad finished with test-best match figures of 7-94 and with Anderson, Tremlett and off-spinner Graeme Swann also playing their parts in a decisive victory, England's attack looks better equipped than India's to take 20 wickets in a match.

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