Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval August 2, 2010

Gambhir ruled out of third Test

Cricinfo staff

Gautam Gambhir, the Indian opener, has been ruled out of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval, while offspinner Harbhajan Singh is also a doubtful starter. Gambhir had missed the second Test because of a swelling in the knee and Harbhajan, who was not at full fitness for the first Test, did not train with the team today.

Gambhir's unavailability is a blow to India's chances of leveling a series they trail 0-1. M Vijay, who scored a half-century at the SSC, will retain his place alongside Virender Sehwag at the top of the order.

The replacement for Harbhajan, should he not play, is not as clear cut. India will have to decide whether to play two spinners, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra, or bring in a third seamer in Munaf Patel. Ojha was wicketless in the first Test and took 1 for 185 in the second.

Gambhir, along with Harbhajan, had been rested from the squad for the tri-series that follows the Tests but he had trained with the team two days ahead of the third Test. Harbhajan had skipped a practice session on Sunday as well but the team management had suggested there was no injury scare.

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  • JIGNESH on August 3, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    Even if Gambhi would join to the squad, the Indian team won't save the series. It is impossible to square the series with these kind of bowling. If Gambhi would join in the substitute of Dravid, may be they could save the match, but the series, it is now impossible to square it. India showing helplessness and poorness by giving a chance to the failed bowlers again and again. Since start playing in International cricket, Munaf, Mishra, Ojha, and Ishant did not show any powerful performance in any match yet. Then why they keep finding the place in the Indian squad?

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    Why is Gambhir's unavailability is a blow to Indian team? If these players can't learn to be fit then they shouldn't be missed when they are not playing. Well its really disappointing to see how frequently Indian players get injured. Harbhajan has also been rested for upcoming tri-series, well has he performed up to the mark this year? Well new players should be given chances and also these cannot be trusted for the World Cup next year. Who knows one or the other person hurts his knee, elbow or whatever. Such an unpredictable team. I really appreciate the decision that Yuvraj will not be playing in the 3rd test otherwise I woudn't been surprised if Yuvraj had played in place of Raina...It's Indian team, anythign an happen..lollll.... I hope India wins this match and level this series.....

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    If Ind wins the test, its because of their "wonderful batsmen", but if SL wins this or even if match ends in draw, then the "pitch is bad". In 5 days (or may be 4 days) we will know if Ind batsmen are any good or if the pitch was bad, "killing test cricket".

  • rajeev on August 2, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    If harbajan is not playing that is a big blessing in disguise!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    India back to its deplorable ways of not being transparent with injury news. Def not the signs of a champion side!

  • manjunath on August 2, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    either GOD or RAIN should help india....gambhir absence wouldn't make much difference..i think. but bajji...we gonna miss you a lot...

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    yuvraj and munaf should come in place of vijay and harbhajan dravid should open with sehwag and laxman at no.3 but srikkanth and dhoni will choose vijay bec of chennai superkings factor

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    real disaster for india............

  • Rajesh on August 2, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    Whether Gambhir & Harbhajan are fit to play, whether India opts for 5 bowlers or 4... whatever the combination India field I hope they don't make VVS Laxman the scape goat.... because whenever a new guy comes in and scores in his first match (it's altogether a different story whether he repeats it consistently), there are murmurs about the seniors in the team and invariably Laxman is the man at whom fingers are pointed at. Poor guy......... he has been India's best crisis-player, even better than Sachin or Dravid at crunch situations. So, hope Laxman gets to play.......... for the record, in the past 12 months Dravid averages 70 & Laxman 73 !!

  • Manasvi on August 2, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    Well, Gambhir not being around won't make too much of a difference since he s doing rather badly. But as for Bhajji, even he hasn't done well but he has more experience than Ojha or Mishra.

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