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First Test hero Gilchrist injured, India get back Srinath


NEW DELHI, March 4 (AFP) - Australia's first Test hero Adam Gilchrist suffered a hip strain on Sunday, forcing the tourists to summon wicket-keeper Brad Haddin from home as a stand-by.

Gilchrist, whose brilliant 122 off 112 balls helped Australia beat India by 10 wickets at Bombay and earned him the man-of-the-match award, strained his hip during a training session.

The Australian vice-captain was ruled out of the three-day match against the Indian board president's team starting here on Tuesday, but confirmed he will be fit for next week's second Test in Calcutta.

"I've got a little bit of a hip strain," Gilchrist said after the Australian team flew into Delhi from Bombay on Sunday.

"I'm resting as a precaution but I'll be okay for the second Test."

With Gilchrist the only specialist wicket-keeper on the tour, the Australians decided to fly in New South Wales' Haddin to play the three-day match.

Haddin, who made his international debut in the limited-overs tri-series against Zimbabwe and the West Indies in January, will miss the final day's play in a first-class match against Queensland in Sydney to reach Delhi in time for the tour game.

The beleaguered Indians, meanwhile, were boosted by the news that pace spearhead Javagal Srinath will play the Calcutta Test despite sustaining a fracture in his bowling hand at Bombay.

Srinath, India's main bowling weapon in the absence of the injured Anil Kumble, broke his right index finger while fending a rising ball from Australian paceman Jason Gillespie on the first day of the Bombay Test.

"I have recovered quite well," Srinath told AFP from his home in Bangalore.

"Having bowled in the Bombay Test, I am positive that I will be able to play at Calcutta."

Srinath also received the go-ahead from noted Indian orthopaedic surgeon Prem Chand Khincha, who examined the cricketer on Saturday.

"The mobility in Srinath's hand has improved a lot, but I have to assess him again," Khincha said.

"However, I am confident that Srinath will be able to play in Calcutta," he said.

The Indian selectors, who will pick the squad for the second Test here on Wednesday, will be pleased to hear that Srinath will be available.

The last time India played Australia at Calcutta three years ago, the lanky Karnataka bowler grabbed six wickets to mastermind the hosts' massive win by an innings and 219 runs.





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