Mumbai, May 28: As defending champions India embark on their England sojourn for the ICC World T20, the mystery surrounding the participation of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan seems to have deepened.
The Indian left-arm-seamer suffered a left shoulder injury while playing in the IPL in South Africa on May 3 and didn’t figure in any of the games for Mumbai Indians after that. While the Board rubbished speculations of the seamer’s non-availability, things are looking increasingly curious.
None of the selectors or members of the support staff were willing to comment on the bowler’s fitness on Wednesday.
However, a key member of the World Cup bound team management said that a decision will have to be taken by Thursday.
"There will be no fitness test, but Zaheer will be physically assessed in the team hotel at some time of the day on Thursday. We will issue an update and send the report to the Board secretary. The media should know by then," he said.
If Zaheer is declared unfit, Ashish Nehra, who had such a wonderful Indian Premier League playing for Team Delhi, could replace Zaheer.
After all, Nehra is a left-armer just like Zaheer and in English conditions where the ball moves about considerably and seams a fair bit too, he could prove to be a handful.
If Nehra, who hasn’t played for India since September 2005, doesn’t find favour with the selectors, then Zaheer’s spot could go to Munaf Patel, who played in the IPL for Team Jaipur.