Compaq Cup September 10, 2009

Kohli to replace injured Gambhir in tri-series

Cricinfo staff

Gautam Gambhir has picked up a groin injury and will miss the Compaq Cup in Sri Lanka after being advised 10 days' rest. He is returning home and will be replaced by Virat Kohli.

MS Dhoni, India's captain, said Gambhir picked up the injury during the recent BCCI Corporate Trophy. "From what I know he picked the injury during the Corporate tourney and aggravated it during a batting session," Dhoni said in Colombo. Gambhir is expected to report at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore for assessment and rehabilitation.

Kohli, currently at the NCA, is likely to join the squad on Friday. He has just recovered from a minor shoulder injury and participated in the Corporate Trophy.

Gambhir's injury means India, who play their first game on Friday, will be without two of their three established openers in Sri Lanka: Virender Sehwag is already out with a shoulder injury and will miss the Champions Trophy too. Gambhir's replacement notwithstanding, Dinesh Karthik, who opened in the ODIs in the West Indies in the absence of Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, is in the squad and likely to make the starting XI.

India will desperately want Gambhir back in time for the Champions Trophy, where they play their first match on September 26, against Pakistan in Centurion. They would ideally want at least a week's acclimatisation in South Africa, which means there will be a degree of risk involved should India take Gambhir to the Champions Trophy. It will be a tricky decision because one such choice recently went wrong. Sehwag, who was injured but hoping to recover in time when the squad for World Twenty20 was announced, was along to England but is yet to recover from his shoulder injury.

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