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Khan loss will not hit India; TEST CRICKET.

MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI appeared to be indulging in some resolute "blue-sky thinking" when he described Zaheer Khan's absence from the second Test as a "win-win situation" for India.

The tourists' captain delivered confirmation at Trent Bridge yesterday that the left-arm seamer - who recorded a match-winning nine-wicket haul on his last Test visit to this venue four years ago - has failed to recover in time from the hamstring injury he suffered at Lord's last week.

Dhoni (left) wasted no time, though, turning that evident setback into a 'positive' - by way of some inventive reasoning.

"It's a bit disappointing not to have him for selection," he said.

"But it is something that is beyond our control, and it gives a chance to the other bowlers to prove their mettle when it comes to international cricket. Overall, it's a win-win situation for the Indian team."

Gautam Gambhir is another doubt to take part today, still struggling to recover from the elbow he hurt in India's first-Test defeat.

Dhoni is already busy working out contingency plans which will entail either Shantha Sreesanth or Munaf Patel replacing Zaheer and - if Gambhir is unfit too - Yuvraj Singh being drafted into the middle order, and Rahul Dravid pushed up to open again.

"We can't really sit and say 'Zaheer is not there'," he continued.

"We have to look at the positive, which is some of the other bowlers will get to have a look at international cricket."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 29, 2011
Words:240
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