Injured Karthik unlikely to play against South Africa

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Bangalore, Mar 17 (UNI) Left Arm Spinner Murali Karthik, who got selected for the Indian Test team to play against South Africa, suffered an ankle injury in the match between Central Zone and North here today.

Karthik's injury had come at a time when the Indian frontline bowlers were dogged with injuries.

While Ishant Sharma was ruled out for the first Test, beginning in Chennai on March 26, Zaheer Khan had been ruled out for the entire series.

Sources said doctors, who examined Murali's swollen left ankle, had advised him three to six week rest.

He was injured while trying to save a boundary struck by Virender Sehwag.

Karthik made a fine comeback into the Indian team after performing well in the county season, playing for Middlesex.

He took 37 wickets in nine matches, averaging 25.48.

Uttar Pradesh leg spinner Piyush Chawla is likely to replace Karthik as second spinner and the selectors would have to find a replacement in case Harbhajan Singh is ruled out for the first Test.

Piyush has been kept as a back up for Harbhajan, who is a doubtful due to a hamstring injury.

UNI MSP/RS CS RK2032

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