The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zaheer likely to be fit for Wellington

Napier: Zaheer Khan, who sustained an injury during India’s tour-opening Super Max match in Christchurch, is making encouraging progress and should be fit in time for the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington next week.

“Zaheer is going through his bowling motion to get his rhythm in order,” said physio Andrew Leipus. Zaheer was hit on his right knee by a shot from Brendon McCallum during the Super Max game.

Since then he has had his knee heavily strapped though no fracture was detected. “Till recently, not much could have been done because of the swelling,” said Zaheer. “But now it’s better.”

Leipus sounded relieved as he said “at worst the injury was only a bad bruise.”

Coach John Wright was also confident of Zaheer being fit in time for the first Test starting Thursday. “Zaheer looks good to be fit for the first Test and that’s good news for us,” Wright said.

Zaheer has been out of international action for quite some time now missing the third Test and the following seven-match ODIs against the West Indies. Zaheer bowled a few overs in the Super Max game but could not play in the three-dayer against the Central Districts because of the injury.

Now even the next few days do not look too bright since it has been raining heavily in Wellington, the venue of the first Test.

Captain Sourav Ganguly toyed with the idea of staying back an extra day in Napier to allow his team some practice but two things made him discard the notion — the forecast for rain in Napier was not good either and the entire process of rescheduling of air tickets and hotel bookings was just not feasible.

Wright sprung to the defence of vice-captain Rahul Dravid after the star Indian batsman suffered his second successive failure against Central Districts Sunday.

“Dravid has missed out in this game but he is a quality player and technically the best equipped to score runs in New Zealand,” Wright said. He looked at the positives from the game and made light of Indians’ failure in the first innings. (PTI)

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