Zaheer, Badani hope to be fit for Test series

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2001, 3:21 [IST]
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Chennai: Having been declared unfit for the triangular One-day series in South Africa, speedster Zaheer Khan and batsman Hemang Badani on Tuesday started getting ready for the Test series in November while Ashish Nehra claimed that he had cleared the fitness test despite BCCI putting him on a watch-list."It is rather unfortunate that I am not making it to the tour. Since it is only a minor problem as stated by sports medicine expert Dr Anant Joshi, I should be fully fit well before they pick the team for the Test series," Zaheer, who is recovering from a shin injury, said. Badani, who had made it to the squad only on Monday after middle-order batsman V V S Laxman was declared unfit, too said he was hoping to get into the Test side. "I am not lucky but I will strive to recover from the injury faster and get ready for the Test series," he said. Badani had injured his back while fielding in the final of the Moin-ud-Dowla Cup cricket tournament on Sunday and a scan on Tuesday morning revealed he had sustained a stress fracture. Nehra, who has been kept on watch and would have to clear another fitness test on Saturday, claimed that he was fully fit and had passed Tuesday's tests. "I have passed the fitness test. I will do my best for my country. Dennis Lillee has advised me on various things and I will be putting them into action to perform better," he said. However, BCCI sources maintained that Nehra, who is suffering from a groin injury, was yet to get the final nod and he would have to prove his fitness on Saturday. Nehra said Saturday's tests were mandatory for every member of the squad and he would not have any problems in proving his fitness. "Everybody has to undergo fitness test in Mumbai on September 22 and 23 prior to the team's departure to South Africa. I will not have problems to pass the final test. It is not a major thing. I have no problem in running and throwing," Nehra claimed. Lillee was seen explaining to Nehra as to why the bowler is getting groin injury and what he should do to avoid recurrence of such problems. But, Nehra said, "It is difficult to say as to how cricketers get injuries."

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