Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dravid, Yuvi doubtful for 1st SA Test

Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh, both nursing injuries, are doubtful starters for the first Test against South Africa, coach Gary Kirsten said.

"Yuvi will be out for a while. He would be struggling for the first Test (against South Africa). And for Dravid, he is also not sure. It is a bit of concern because we want a full strength side against South Africa," Kirsten said.

Dravid had his cheek bone fractured by a Shahadat Hossain bouncer after which he retired hurt. Yuvraj too has a ligament tear in his left wrist, which ruled out his further participation in the ongoing second Test against Bangladesh.

India's first Test against South Africa begins on February 6 in Nagpur.

"It is a difficult situation we are in. But you cannot do anything about injuries. It's out of our control. We have to wait and watch and what stands for these players in the few days ahead," Kirsten said.

The South African, however, assured that Sachin Tendulkar was fine.

"Sachin is all right, he is fine," said Kirsten.

Tendulkar came tumbling down while trying to catch Tamim Iqbal off Virender Sehwag.

Kirsten said despite their injuries, Dravid and Yuvraj would not be sent home.

"It was quite a nasty hit on Rahul and we have to see if he needs to consult a specialist. He is not going back now.

"Yuvi had torn cartilages on his left wrist and but he will also stay back," Kirsten said.

Dwelling on the match, Kirsten conceded his bowlers were not too impressive.

"We did not bowl as good as we can though the wicket is not easy for the bowlers. After taking 300-plus lead, you want early breakthroughs and knock the opposition down as soon as possible. There might have been some impatience," he said.

Bangladesh rode on the record 200-run stand between Tamim Iqbal (151) and Jumnaid Siddique (55) to reach 228 for three, having lost two quick wickets in the final session.

"We are happy that we got two quick wickets towards the close. We did well towards the close of play. Zaheer Khan was getting reverse swing from his final overs. The wicket will deteriorate tomorrow and hopefully it will assist the spinners," Kirsten added.

"We are leading by 83 runs and we want to get early wickets tomorrow morning. There are two more days to go and we are backing ourselves to win the game," he said.

Asked about Tamim Iqbal's aggressive 151, Kirsten said, "He is an aggressive player. We have Virender Sehwag like him.

It is good for your team. An aggressive player at the top of order can damage the opposition but knocking off quick runs early on.

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