Zaheer sympathises with Ishant

India

Veteran seamer Zaheer Khan has acknowledged India's bowling attack will be severely hampered for the remainder of the ongoing five-Test series against England, if the in-form Ishant Sharma doesn't recover from a leg injury soon.

Veteran seamer Zaheer Khan has acknowledged India's bowling attack will be severely hampered for the remainder of the ongoing five-Test series against England, if the in-form Ishant Sharma doesn't recover from a leg injury soon.

Sharma, who was named Man of the Match after a second-innings seven-wicket haul resigned the hosts to defeat in the second Test at Lord's in London, was ruled out of the ongoing third fixture at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Replacement Pankaj Singh failed to impress on debut, conceding 146 runs and going without a wicket across 37 struggling overs. The exclusion of all-rounder Stuart Binny, too, weakened the ranks.

"I hope it, Ishant's injury, is not serious and he still can contribute in the series. These things keep happening and it is nothing that he did wrong but it just happened, so he has to deal with it," Zaheer was quoted as saying at a ProSport event.

"I hope the matter is not that serious. It also depends on what kind of injury you are going through. Some injuries you can play with but some injuries you have no option but to sit out.

"He is the man in form. He has had a brilliant last Test match. He has been on top of his game and it is always frustrating when you get injury of that magnitude when the team needs you most. It is frustrating but as an athlete, you have to take things in your stride and do the right things."

Having conceded a hefty first-innings total of 569 for seven declared, after big centuries from the left-handed Gary Ballance and right-handed Ian Bell, the Indians are currently the subject of a telling 246-run deficit – and a potential follow-on – after day three at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

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