Delhi v Chennai, IPL 2010, Delhi March 18, 2010

Gautam Gambhir ruled out for Chennai game

Gautam Gambhir will not play in Friday's match against Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Eric Simons, the assistant coach of Delhi Daredevils, has said. Gambhir pulled a hamstring during Wednesday's defeat to Mumbai Indians and was forced off the field within the first 10 minutes of the match. In his place the vice-captain Dinesh Karthik has been elevated to the lead the side.

"He [Gambhir] is going for a scan to see how bad it is. Once we assess him, only then we will know how long he will be out for. It's reasonably serious and he won't play on Friday," Simons said.

"The captain plays an important role. He should understand the game and should be able to take quick decisions. So many captains have been fined for slow over-rate in this tournament and we need to be careful."

Karthik has captaincy experience leading his state side Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy and other domestic competitions but this is his first task leading players of international quality in a lucrative tournament. Delhi won their first two matches before losing heavily to Mumbai at home.

Gambhir joins a long injury list that includes Graeme Smith, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Ashish Nehra, Charl Langeveldt and MS Dhoni - all within one week of the IPL. Yusuf Pathan recovered from a shoulder issue and Virat Kohli survived a dodgy fall while bowling. However, most injuries - Gambhir's the notable exception - have been the sort that cannot be avoided on the field, as Lalit Modi, the IPL Commissioner, stressed on Thursday.

"I think injuries are not happening because it [the IPL] is packed too soon, injuries are happening because of the game," Modi told the TV channel CNN-IBN. "Injuries will take place if the person gets hit by a ball on the wrong place and that's what happens. Cricket is a game like that, it's not because of the schedule that one gets injured."

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo