London, Aug 3: Under-fire Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been ruled out of the third Test against England because of a stomach injury. The feisty Sardar sustained the injury during the second Test in Nottingham.
According to reports, Harbhajan has a grade 1 lower abdominal tear and is expected to be out of action for two weeks.
Harbhajan, the leading wicket-taker in the Indian bowling unit has been at the receiving end of unending media criticism over his loss of form. The off-spinner who just recently became the fourth spinner in the history of cricket to take more than 400 wickets, has off late appeared to be a pale shadow of his former self where he used to run through sides with the ease of a bull-dozer.
His dip in form had led to increased voices asking for him to be dropped. However, as luck would have it, he is now out of the Indian team for the next Test.
His absence is likely to give Amit Mishra, the other spinner in the squad a chance to play against the rampaging England team. Mishra, a leg-spinner in the classical mould will be under tremendous pressure to justify his selection and provide his team an impetus on a so-far-disastrous tour.
Meanwhile, Indian openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir seem set to comeback to the team after recuperating from their respective injuries. However, there has been no clear update about Yuvraj Singh's hand injury.
The tall left-hander is set to see a specialist doctor at London before making any decision about his fitness. India, trailing England by 0-2 in the four match Test series are desperately trying to put up a squad of 11 fit players to defend their world number one crown.