Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, who sustained injuries during the ongoing Australian tour, are expected to regain fitness in time for the Pakistan tour.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
Kolkata:Indian speedster Zaheer Khan and spinner Harbhajan Singh, who sustained injuries during the ongoing Australian tour, were expected to regain fitness in time for the historic India-Pakistan cricket series in March-April. "Both Zaheer and Harbhajan are nursing injuries. But I am hopeful that they will recover and become fit before the Pakistan tour," BCCI Selection Committee Chairman Syed Kirmani told newspersons here today. Stating that such injuries were part and parcel of the game, the former Indian wicketkeeper said "it should not cause any tension in the side." Zaheer opted out of the fourth and final Test against the Aussies earlier this month and also from the ongoing tri-series following a left hamstring injury. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was ruled out of the engagements Down Under after the first Test in Brisbane due to an index finger injury. Kirmani said with adequate rest and medication, both the players were "expected to be back to business" before the Indians visit Pakistan. The Indian team is scheduled to travel to Pakistan in the first week of March for a Test and One-Day series after a gap of nearly 15 years following easing of tensions between the two neighbours in recent months. Kirmani, who termed India's performance in Australia as "the best ever" on a foreign tour, expressed confidence that the team led by Sourav Ganguly would also fare well in Pakistan. Kirmani, however, gave all the credit to skipper Ganguly and his wards for India's spectacular performance against the world champions. "It's the captain and the players and not the selection committee, who deserve to be congratulated," he said. Asked about the selection of the Indian side for the Pakistan tour, he said the Committee would be meeting after his return from Australia next month to pick the squad. Commenting on the current Indian team, Kirmani said "There is good blend of youth and experience in this side. We are looking ahead to build a strong team for the years to come." To a question, the former Indian cricketer admitted that the bowling department, at times, appeared to be a weak link. "But then, there will always be some weaknesses somewhere in the squad. We have to sort it out." In this context, he said "If any youngster puts up good performance in the domestic arena, he will be picked up." The legendary wicketkeeper, however, resented that some people were expressing doubts over the wicketkeeping abilities of Parthiv Patel. "He is a promising player and is doing a good job. Those who are raising the finger against him, don't know anything about 'keeping'". (PTI)