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'We don't have a depleted bowling attack'

Last updated on: July 27, 2011 20:37 IST

'We don't have a depleted bowling attack'


Bikash Mohapatra

The news on the Zaheer Khan front is not very good.

The bowler did join the team's training session and, among other things, completed a lap. However, his training ended sooner than it had started.

While there's no official word from the team management yet, it is obvious that the bowler won't return to bowl at the venue that saw him take nine wickets, leading India to victory the last time he played.

There was some damage control exercise on Wednesday, though, with the officials saying a call on Zaheer's inclusion will be taken only late Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Abhinav Mukund, who came in to interact with the media, appeared well-rehearsed.

"Zaheer has been our strike bowler for a long time," he began, before shifting focus to his other colleagues.

"But Ishant has been doing well -- he was the man-of-the-series in the West Indies; Praveen Kumar has just taken five wickets and Sreesanth is waiting in the wings," he continued, adding, "It is not that we have a depleted attack.

Image: S Sreesanth and Sachin Tendulkar share a light moment during a training session in Nottingham
Photographs: Reuters

'We have come here to take up the challenge'

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"It is just that when you lose a fast bowler it becomes a completely different scenario."

Zaheer is not the only injury worry for Team India on this tour.

There's no official word yet on the availability of Virender Sehwag. And Mukund, the player who has come in place of the flamboyant opener, avoided any comparisons. 

"If you are looking at me to replace Sehwag, then it is not possible," he said, in a matter-of-fact tone.

"I have just got to play my game and not try to replace Sehwag," he added. With a few injury worries and a demoralizing defeat in the opening Test, India go into the Trent Bridge Test with added pressure.

However, if Mukund is to be believed, pressure will get the best out of his teammates.  

"Being the No.1 team, we have conquered a lot of challenges on our way here," asserted the batsman.

"A lot of players are experienced enough, many of them have played in these conditions," continued Mukund. "We have come here to take up the challenge and we will definitely give a fight." 

Image: Sachin Tendulkar bats during a training session in Nottingham
Photographs: Getty Images
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