The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin still not certain

Napier: Sachin Tendulkar, who sprained his ankle during nets on Tuesday, is struggling to be fit for the second one-day International against New Zealand at McLean Park on Sunday.

“He has seen a specialist doctor and is better but physio Andrew Leipus wants to be absolutely sure on his ankle,” said manager N. R. Choudhary after the team arrived here Friday.

Sachin is very eager to take part in the second game but Leipus wants to take a conservative approach on his right ankle injury and does not want to rush in declaring him fit.

“We don’t want a chronically twisted ankle and take a risk especially in view of the coming World Cup,” said Leipus. “It’s better to take a conservative approach at present.”

India, after a 2-0 debacle in the Test series, are now 0-1 down in the seven-match one-day International series as well having lost to New Zealand by three wickets in Auckland Thursday.

According to reports emanating from the Indian camp, the swelling on Sachin’s right ankle has subsided and intensive treatment has begun but it is not healing as fast as was expected.

While the news on Sachin’s fitness is keeping the Indian fans on tenterhooks, the report on the other three injured cricketers is encouraging. Harbhajan Singh, who had a capsular sprain in his right middle finger which prevented him from gripping the ball, has been given an injection and should be fit for Sunday’s game, according to Leipus.

Bangar, who was fighting to get rid of injuries in his right index finger and left knee, has progressed well and according to Choudhary, will be up for selection after undergoing a fitness (bowling) test.

Mohammed Kaif, who suffered a bruised foot by a yorker at nets before the first game, is also fit now, according to Choudhary.

Shiv Sundar Das, the diminutive opener from Orissa who did duty in the Test squad and whose departure to India was delayed to enable him to bolster the Indian batting in the first game, has now headed for home.

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