The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Harbhajan surgery likely tomorrow
- Sachin or Kumble to lead versus Australia A

Hobart: Unless the MRI on Harbhajan Singh’s right index finger, to be done on Thursday, shows that the ligament injury hasn’t deteriorated, he will undergo surgery in Melbourne on Friday morning.

“The surgeon (Greg Hoy) has kept himself free for the operation, but will take a decision only after studying the latest MRI report,” Harbhajan told The Telegraph, when contacted in Melbourne late on Wednesday. He added: “Back in July, I’d consulted the same doctor and, so, he is familiar with my injury... How do I feel' Jo hone ko hai, woh ho ga... Let’s see what the surgeon has to say after tomorrow’s MRI...”

Harbhajan, who has been battling this injury for some time, got off in Melbourne while the rest of Team India continued with the journey here earlier in the day. Keeping him company is physio Andrew Leipus.

Even if Harbhajan undergoes surgery, he will remain in Melbourne till Sourav Ganguly and Co. arrive there after the three-dayer here. “He will go back home after we’ve got to Melbourne,” informed manager Shivlal Yadav.

Meanwhile, despite speculation, the team management hasn’t requested the Board to have Sanjay Bangar on stand-by.

Incidentally, either Sachin Tendulkar or Anil Kumble will lead India versus Australia A, from Friday. As of now, Sourav, regular vice-captain Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan will be giving the game a miss.

One understands coach John Wright will first speak to Sachin. If he’s not that keen, the job will go to Kumble.

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