India fast bowler Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge with a hamstring injury, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Thursday.
Left-arm quick Zaheer broke down in the first Test at Lord's, which India lost by 196 runs, after taking two wickets for 18 runs in 13.3 first innings overs and didn't bowl again in the match.
The 32-year-old was instrumental in India's seven-wicket win in the corresponding Trent Bridge Test against England four years ago, taking nine wickets for 134 runs in the match.
Now his place is set to go to either fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth or seamer Munaf Patel.
"I think he is ruled out of this game," Dhoni speaking to reporters at Trent Bridge on Thursday, the day before the second Test starts, said of Zaheer.
"It's always good to have him in the side because he is our most experienced bowler, especially when it comes to England, he has played a lot of cricket over here for counties and the last time India were here (in 2007) he bowled really well.
"It's a bit disappointing not to have him for selection in the first XI but it is something that is beyond our control and it gives a chance to the other bowlers to prove their mettle when it comes to international cricket."
Dhoni added: "Overall it's a win-win situation for the Indian team because we can't really sit and say Zaheer is not there. We have to look at the positive, which is some of the other bowlers will get to have a look at international cricket."
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni, who refused to divulge the identity of Zaheer's replacement at Trent Bridge, said he hoped India's spearhead would be fit in time for the third Test, starting at Edgbaston on August 10.
"We are expecting that. He started light training yesterday (Wednesday) but again it is something we can't 100 percent be sure about but most likely it seems he will."
India also have a doubt over opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, who suffered an elbow injury when hit fielding at short leg at Lord's.
If he were ruled out Rahul Dravid, as happened in the second innings at Lord's, would be promoted to open the innings with Yuvraj Singh in line to take Gambhir's place in the team.