After losing pacer Ishant Sharma because of a 'sore leg', the swelling on Bhuvneshwar Kumar's ankle has come as a big setback for India ahead of the fourth Test, starting 7 August at Old Trafford, Manchester.
This is the first five-match Test series the current lot of Indian players are playing, and bowling long spells in last three matches have started to take a toll on them. Ishant has already been ruled out, after missing the third Test, and India cannot afford to lose in-form Bhuvneshwar.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hopeful that the seamer will be available for the upcoming encounter. He, however, admitted that bowling tirelessly in previous matches is now affecting his star seamer.
"I think, Bhuvi seemed to be a bit tired," Dhoni said. "But he came back nicely after that first spell. But I thought he was slightly on the shorter side. He got the right length in the first two Tests, but here he was slightly short."
Due to ankle concerns, Bhuvneshwar missed the team's training session, after their 266-run loss in the third Test. Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha is already ruled out of the series and replaced by Naman Ojha.
Pacer Pankaj Singh failed to carry his impressive domestic form in the third Test and was wicket-less on debut. However, Dhoni was impressed with Pankaj's performance and insisted that he is pleased with the efforts of his fast bowlers.
"It was a different kind of wicket, where you have to hit the deck hard to get some purchase," the Indian captain insisted. "That's where I found Pankaj very impressive. He is a tall guy and got fair amount of bounce and was unlucky not to get a few wickets. Overall I am happy with him."
English off-spinner Moeen Ali ripped through India and clinched six wickets in the second innings to help England level the series 1-1. Dhoni rued soft dismissals in the second innings and stressed that they should have played Ali positively.
"Moeen I think he bowled well, but still we let him bowl well," Dhoni said. "It is very important to be positive against the spinner, especially when there is not much on offer. I think he bowled very good lines. If you keep defending, one odd ball will turn because there is considerable amount of wear and tear on the wicket."
The skipper said that India can bounce back from the defeat, should they play positively in the next match. "Definitely, when it comes to the talent part, yes," Dhoni stressed.