Kaif to leave for Sharjah on Wednesday

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2000, 23:15 [IST]
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Bangalore: Young middle order batsman Mohammed Kaif will replace an injured Rahul Dravid in the Indian squad at Sharjah, according to Board of Control for Cricket in India sources at Mumbai.Kaif, who had played in the Test match against South Africa at Bangalore early this year, will leave by Emirates flight 703 on Wednesday morning. "The flight will leave at 04.30 hours (IST) and Kaif will join the Indian team well ahead of their next match against Zimbabwe on Friday," the sources said.Rahul Dravid, who top scored in India's victory against Zimbabwe in the third match of the ongoing Coca Cola Cup tri-series, suffered a fracture on the ring finger of his left hand.

Dravid, standing at second slip, attempted to take a sharp chance of left-hand, opening batsman Alistair Campbell off Zaheer Khan.The ball flew away from hand of Dravid, who continued to field despite showing some initial pain. It was subsequently found out that he had injured the ring finger of his left hand. Meanwhile, leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who suffered a sore shoulder, underwent a scan to judge the nature of his injury.Kumble, one of the main weapons in India's bowling armoury, is expected to play against Zimbabwe on Thursday, which also happens to be the day of Diwali festival in India.

Having lost their first match against Sri Lanka, the Indians will be looking forward towards an encore against Zimbabwe to seal a place in the final.Though, Mohammed Kaif will replace Dravid, it is not sure if he would straightaway make it to the playing 11. Skipper Saurav Ganguly was quite happy with his scheme of pushing Dravid up the order so that he could bolster the Indian middle order. With Ganguly inclined to bat in the middle in the Sharjah pitches, Tamil Nadu's S Sriram is likely to open the innings with Sachin Tendulkar.

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