NOTTINGHAM: Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and middle-order batsman Virat Kohli were Wednesday called up to join the injury-hit Indian team as replacements for Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, both of whom have been ruled out of for the Test series against England.
While Harbhajan has suffered a grade I abdominal muscle strain, Yuvraj has fractured his left index finger during the second cricket Test against England which the visitors lost by a massive 319 runs.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked Virat Kohli and Pragyan Ojha as their replacements. Both players will join the Indian team at the earliest," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.
Yuvraj, who struck a half-century in the second Test, injured his finger when he got hit by a Tim Bresnan snorter during an improbable 478-run chase at Trent Bridge.
Harbhajan, who has struggled to find form in the series so far, also picked up the injury during the second Test.
The off-spinner bowled just 13.4 overs in the second Test and has been woefully out of form in the series. The tweaker grabbed 1 for 69 in the second Test after his 1 for 218 in the first at Lord’s.
The Indians have been besieged by injury concerns even before the start of the series.
Virender Sehwag, who joined the team today and is expected to play in the third Test at Edgbaston, had to pull out of the first two matches owing to a shoulder injury.
The Indians were struck another body blow when pace spearhead Zaheer Khan suffered a hamstring strain on the first morning of the first Test.
Gautam Gambhir picked up an elbow injury after being hit by a full-blooded sweep shot by Matt Prior at Lord’s. He missed the last Test but is set to play at Edgbaston.
On the verge of losing their world number one status after suffering crushing defeats in the first two Tests, India will have to play out of their skin to salvage their reputation.
Yuvraj’s injury may take around four weeks to recover, while Harbhajan is likely to get back to full fitness in three weeks’ time, which leaves a question mark over their participation in the first few matches of the five-match ODI series starting September 3.(PTI)