South African leggie Tahir unlikely to play against India

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 10:21 hrs

Nagpur: South Africa's potent spinner Imran Tahir has been advised 10 days rest to recover from his thumb fracture and is unlikely to turn out against India in the World Cup Group B contest here Saturday.

The South African selectors are yet to decide when to give the recovery period to Tahir but with the risk of the injury being aggravated, it is highly unlikely that the Proteas will take a chance with the leg-spinner, who has been a revelation in the tournament. South Africa's last two matches are against Ireland (March 15) and Bangladesh (March 19) while the quarterfinals start March 23.

South African spinner Tahir fractures thumb

The 31-year-old Tahir was injured while taking a return catch to dismiss Jonathan Trott in their defeat by England in Chennai, Sunday.

Team manager Mohammed Moosajee said that playing Tahir against India would be a risk.

"Imran had done an x-ray yesterday. We confirmed it as a chip fracture. He has been advised 10 days rest. The selection committee will decide whether he will be relieved before or after the game (against India). He is definitely going to play in this tournament," said Moosajee.

Asked whether Tahir will be out of the India match, Moosajee said: "As of now he is available for selection. He bowled at the nets today and he is fine. It's entirely on the selectors to take the call when to give him the rest. It may be decided on the day of the match tomorrow. Playing him in this match is a risk, considering that South Africa are not asking for any replacement."

Pakistan-born Tahir made his international debut in this World Cup, after having qualified to play for South Africa, Jan 1. He is the second highest wicket taker in the tournament with 11 dismissals, behind another leg spinner Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who leads the race with 15 wickets.

Opening batsman Hashim Amla admitted that "it is a blow for the team".

"Tahir is a world class spinner. But there is lot of depth in our bowling attack. Our spinners have done well in the tournament. You can see that somebody like Johan Botha is sitting outside. Johan is a fantastic player. Injuries are part of the game so I don't think we are too perturbed," Amla said.

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