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Harbhajan fit for New Zealand series

August 26, 2003 17:36 IST

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who underwent physiotherapy for an injured finger last month, will be fit for the two-Test series against New Zealand starting in October.

"Harbhajan is no longer injured," Indian coach John Wright said after the fitness camp in Bangalore.

"I think you'll find he will play in the domestic Irani Cup match and the New Zealand series."

But there is still a question mark over the readiness of explosive opener Virender Sehwag, who was released by county side Leicestershire last month due to a back injury, and left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra, who underwent ankle surgery in April.

All three players have been left out of a domestic one-day tournament to be played in Bangalore early next month.

"We felt the best way for Harbhajan to be introduced to the season was by playing in the longer version of the game instead of going into the one-dayers," Wright said.

India's premier domestic five-day Irani Trophy match, involving Ranji champions Mumbai and a Rest of India side, is scheduled in Madras from September 18-22.

Physio Andrew Leipus said Sehwag and Nehra's progress were being closely watched.

"Their rehabilitation is coming along nicely," Leipus said.

"Nehra is coming off an operation so we have to monitor his bowling. Sehwag had been told to rest for six weeks. We will gradually build up his nets time."

India play a two-Test series against New Zealand starting on October 8 in Ahmedabad, followed by a one-day triangular series also involving world champions Australia.

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