Pakistan seam bowler Umar Gul has been ruled out of the first test against India at Delhi on Thursday after feeling pain in his back and hip in training.
Left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir is now sure to be handed his Test debut and partner Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami in a three-man pace attack. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and skipper and part-time off-spinner Shoaib Malik will provide the variety.
Gul’s practice at lunch time on Wednesday was interrupted when he was driven to a Delhi hospital to have scans on the injury. Team sources said the scans came back clear but the prospect of taking a half-fit seamer into such an important match was never going to be an option and he was omitted.
Furthermore, there were also reports that Gul, 23, felt pain in the left side of his hip so he is likely to undergo more tests. It is a bitter blow for Pakistan having been deprived of seamer Mohammad Asif already, when he was sent home because of a chronic elbow injury.
“We're going to consult with orthopaedic surgeons in India as well as back home so he is ruled out of the Delhi Test as a precaution,”
a team spokesman said.