Balaji ruled out of Aus, SA series

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

India suffered a severe blow today when seamer Laxmipathy Balaji was ruled out of the forthcoming series against Australia and South Africa.

Balaji ruled out of Aus, SA series

Birmingham:

India suffered a severe blow today when seamer Laxmipathy Balaji was ruled out of the forthcoming home Test series against Australia and South Africa. Team physiotherapist Andrew Leipus said the injury he suffered early this month was complicated enough to keep the right arm pacer out of action for at least the next two months. "Balaji has a growth in spurs in the pelvic region and the experts feel nature should be allowed to lead the recovery process rather than attempt to rush it," Leipus said here. The Tamil Nadu seamer, who was replaced by Amit Bhandari in the Champions Trophy squad, was due to return home in the next 48 hours. His return to the team though could take longer. Australia are to play four Tests with the first beginning in Bangalore on October 6 while South Africa are scheduled to play two Tests in November. Injury problems Balaji's injury was another big blow for India as they were already without ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar whose tennis elbow injury on the left arm seems to take longer time to heal than expected. For the 22-year old Balaji, who has formed a lethal new ball combination with Irfan Pathan in recent times, the news was absolutely shattering. "I will try my best to do what I can but you can't fight with injury," said a philosophical Balaji who has played 24 one-day internationals and taken 30 wickets at 40.23 besides 13 Test scalps in five matches. Bruce Reid, who has been coaching the Indian bowlers in England, was certain Balaji would be badly missed by his team. "He was shaping up pretty well and his absence would be badly felt," he said. But Balaji's absence could give Bhandari, who held his own well in the couple of matches he played in a triseries on the Australian tour last season, a second look in. The Delhi seamer was very impressive in the practice game for his three-wicket haul yesterday. He almost immediately adjusted to English wickets and it would not have gone unnoticed by the team's think tank. (PTI)

Topics : Cricket
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