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Rakesh Patel and Arjun Yadav called in as cover
June 25, 2007 19:36 IST
Last Updated: June 26, 2007 00:14 IST
Hit by a viral bug which has left several players indisposed, the Indian team management on Monday was forced to seek the services of Baroda paceman Rakesh Patel and Arjun Yadav to make up the numbers for the first ODI against South Africa, to be played on Tuesday.
Patel, a right-arm paceman, who is currently playing in England [Images] has been send an SOS to join the team which has been hit hard by a bout of viral fever with as many as six players being affected.
With India's pace department being the biggest casualty, Patel, currently playing for St Helens in the First Division of the Business Assistance Liverpool Competition, and Yadav have been asked to reach Ireland by Tuesday morning.
Yadav, son of former Indian Test cricketer Shivlal Yadav, has played 50 first-class matches and scored 2278 runs.
Besides these three, Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images], who was the first one to be affected by viral fever and missed the match against Ireland, and Ramesh Powar also missed the training session.
Back home, the BCCI has also decided to rush pacers Ranadeb Bose and Ishant Sharma as cover for the sick players. But they would be able to join the team in two days time.
"Ajit Agarkar, Sreesanth and Dhoni are still to recover fully and as a precautionary measure the team management after consulting the Board has requested Rakesh Patel of Baroda who is currently playing league in England to reach Ireland tomorrow," BCCI said in a release.
"The Board is also making arrangements for Ishant Sharma and Ranadeb Bose to join the team at Ireland within next two days," BCCI said.
But the illness of the players has thrown a lifeline to Patel's almost dead international career.
The 28-year-old Patel has spearheaded the Baroda pace attack and shared the new ball with his more illustrious colleague Irfan Pathan [Images], who no longer finds a place in the team following his continuous bad patch.
Patel has taken 234 wickets in 67 matches in domestic cricket at a sound average of 28.5.