India sweat over Khan’s hamstring strain

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India seamer Zaheer Khan is being assessed by medical staff as he waits to hear the extent of a hamstring strain sustained on day one of the first npower Test against England at Lord’s.

The day’s play started with celebrations marking the 2000th Test in history but ended early under rainy skies and with a dark cloud hanging over the tourists’ bowling attack.

With two for 18 off 13.3 overs, Zaheer was by some distance the pick of the bowlers as England battled tough conditions to reach 127 for two at stumps.

But he left the field clutching his hamstring and an update on his fitness is expected in the morning.

A team spokesman said: “Zaheer Khan is being looked after by the medical team. He is under investigation now.

“It was the hamstring, it was a strain but we are awaiting reports.”

Anything short of a clean bill of health for the left-armer will leave India chronically short of firepower for the remainder of the match and, potentially, the series.

Ishant Sharma, somewhere close to his best in the recent West Indies series, was wayward and appeared to struggle with the Lord’s slope, while Praveen Kumar’s first two balls of the match were his best.

India coach Duncan Fletcher, back at HQ for the first time in the away dressing room, admitted Zaheer was the key to his side’s prospects.

“Zaheer bowled very well and it was a big loss when he went off the field,” admitted Fletcher.