South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 4th day January 5, 2011

Gambhir to bat, but out of ODI series

Gautam Gambhir will bat for India on the fifth day at Newlands, but he has been ruled out of the ODI series. Making a comeback from a hand injury that kept him out of the second Test in Durban, Gambhir had his troubles compounded when a Lonwabo Tsostsobe delivery hit him on the left elbow in the first innings. He could be seen sitting with a splint on his arm in the dressing room during the fourth day, raising doubts over his availability in the second innings.

He scored 93 in the first innings, and sustained the blow when he was on 91. He did not take the field for the entire duration of South Africa's second innings.

"He should be [fit]," Harbhajan Singh, who took seven wickets in the second innings, said. "He has rested the whole day today [Wednesday], he has been icing his arm and getting treatment. But he is going to miss out on the one-day series." India will play a Twenty20 international against South Africa on January 9 and a five-match ODI series starting on January 12

India need 340 to win on the fifth day and Harbhajan said that India's first concern would be to see off the new ball, and then rethink their strategy on whether to go for a draw or a win depending on how the first session goes. "Our approach, to be honest, will be to see off the first hour. If we play the new ball well, and get some fireworks from Virender Sehwag, then anything is chaseable. This is a ground where a lot of runs can be scored fast. I hope Viru clicks tomorrow and gives us a good start. A hundred for no loss will be a good beginning. The new ball will be crucial."

Sehwag excepting, the first instinct for India will surely be to feel safe first, and then go for the target if possible.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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