India bowler Zaheer Khan ruled of second Test against England

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The Independent Online

India's hopes of levelling their four-match series against England suffered a blow today when it was confirmed key paceman Zaheer Khan will miss the Trent Bridge Test due to a hamstring injury.

Zaheer broke down early in the first Test at Lord's, a match England went on to win by 196 runs.

And captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni confirmed the 32-year-old would not be risked in Nottingham with the match starting tomorrow.

Left-armer Zaheer impressed initially at Lord's with an excellent new-ball spell which saw him dismiss both England openers, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, before pulling up clutching his hamstring in his 14th over.

With Zaheer out, India are likely to choose between back-up bowlers Sreesanth and Munaf Patel.

Coach Duncan Fletcher showed a clear preference for pace during his time in charge of England, suggesting the brisker - but more unpredictable - Sreesanth could get the nod.

Dhoni also revealed Gautam Gambhir is "doubtful at this stage" to play tomorrow as he recovers from a badly bruised elbow.

On Zaheer, the India captain said: "He is ruled out for this game."

It is thought likely Sreesanth will replace Zaheer - and if Gambhir is also unfit, Yuvraj Singh can come into the middle order and Rahul Dravid will be pushed up to open again.