Injured Tahir: to play or not to play?

2011-03-11 00:00

SOUTH Africa will be in no rush to decide on Imran Tahir’s availability for their crunch World Cup match against India in Nagpur tomorrow.

Tahir, who has quickly made his mark on the international stage with 11 wickets in his first three games, received very good news yesterday when Cricket South Africa’s hand surgeon, Mike Solomons, said the leg-spinner’s fractured left thumb would only take 10 days to heal.

But because Tahir bowls with his right hand, the injury has no effect on his core function within the team, with the only risks being if he is struck again on the same thumb in the field or in the unlikely event he has to bat.

Team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee stressed yesterday that Tahir has certainly not been ruled out of tomorrow’s game, and they would probably only make a decision on whether he plays in the morning.

The selection will therefore come down to whether management feel Tahir has a key role to play with the ball against the powerful Indian batting line-up on a flat pitch.

Moosajee, who has the doctors’ moral code to consider as well, said the 10 days of rest was the recommendation and that it could start after the India match.

“The selectors will decide what is best,” Moosajee said.

Tahir’s wicket-taking ability has been a precious asset for South Africa thus far in the competition, but with all due respect to the West Indies, Netherlands and England, their batting line-ups are inferior to India’s with such greats as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The selectors face an excruciating decision.

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