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

Gambhir ruled out of third Test

Cricinfo staff
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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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jaggadaaku 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?

  • 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.....

  • 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".

  • no3batsman on August 2, 2010, 21:05 GMT

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

  • 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!

  • manju1438 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...

  • 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

  • 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_lingam 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.

  • Jaggadaaku 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?

  • 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.....

  • 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".

  • no3batsman on August 2, 2010, 21:05 GMT

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

  • 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!

  • manju1438 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...

  • 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

  • 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_lingam 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.

  • on August 2, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Again India is going to have a poor show .... I think india will surely lose their top spot...If India continues lik this they wil surely under perform in the upcoming world cup...i wish the selection committee members shud be changed in order to bring in some good players into the squad.... Gary Kirsten stil believes in Ishanth but why the selectors dropped Yousuf Pathan n Irfan Pathan....No one is consistent... they have their ups n downs... so if u drop a player from the squad you should be playing better players... Pathan is no worse than Ishanth...

  • Crckt-Xprt on August 2, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    Chances of an Indian victory become greater if Harbhajan is not in the team. Clearly !

  • ian_ghose on August 2, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    Hmmm..if Gautam Gambhir is such a good player against spinners, maybe he should move down the order...because as an opener he's a sitting duck for Malinga (or anyone else with a bit of pace or bounce like Nannes, Roach, Dwayne Bravo (lol))...That'll also set the cat amongst the old farts ( Dravid and Laxman)..and maybe they'll pull their socks up..and if not..ciao ciao to them... India already has a problem in dropping Tendulkar....would be impossible to keep carrying 3 more passengers/free-riders..but then Indian fans will keep blaming everyone from the pitch to the weather to the position of the stars to Gideon Haigh to John Howard for India's insipid performance. Cheers IG

  • TheGecko on August 2, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    What a selection dilemna here.. India has to choose between... hang on.. Mishra and Munaf! What is Indian cricket coming to?

  • on August 2, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Gambhir is a good player,but he is in not in form now,because in first test he scores are 2 & 0,he has some difficulties when playing for malinga's bowls.

  • Raghu1460 on August 2, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    Its realli bad news for Indian fans. Vijay may do well for gambhirs place. But its tough to manage in bajji's place. Munaf can do.., Better we have to go with 3 seemers and one spiiner is enough. part time sehwag will do as 2nd spinner.

  • on August 2, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    HARBHAJAN WHETHER HE IS INJURED OR NOT SHOULD NEVER BE CONSIDERED FOR SELECTION AS HE IS VERY ORDINARY AND DEFINITELY NOW OVER THE HILL.SEHWAG IS A MUCH BETTER BOWLER THAN HIM.LOSING GAMBHIR IS A BIG BLOW.MUNAF IS THE LAZIEST,MOST DISINTERESTED AND THE MOST LETHARGIC CRICKETER I HAVE EVER SEEN.THE BOWLERS FOR THE 3RD TEST MATCH SHOULD BE:NEHRA,ISHANT,MISHRA AND MITHUN.

  • on August 2, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    I think India shouls try Praveen Kumar as a bowling all rounder who can contribute with bat as well sometimes. The selectors should consider that.

  • on August 2, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    We should hv played Murali Kartik and Nehra in the team. Murali Kartik inspite of a short career and his age continues to be Indias best spinner. Nehra inspite of not playing in tests of late is certain to pick wickets. He could also have played in the team ahead of Munaf Patel. Given the currrent circumstance, Munaf should play ahead of spinners.

  • on August 2, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Even if he is fit, it is better to make him sit outside. He is not in great touch and Murali needs another chance to prove his mettle. Same case with Yuvraj and Raina. The later deserves it and the former should earn his place by proving it !!

  • BiSONN on August 2, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Fantastic! Look at the world number one teams choice of bowlers for the final test folks; Sharma, Mithun, Ojha, Mishra or Munaf. EVEN I WOULDN'T MIND HAVING A GO AGAINST THEM! Disgraceful. Where's the bench strength at? Well, hopefully we'll be knocked over from the top spot soon because we really don't deserve to be there.

  • on August 2, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    please give a chance for Wriddhiman Saha, and Munaf. Instead of using regular bowler now Dhoni can try and Saha can keep

  • sathishbabu4u on August 2, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    no need gambir.. as already india set to loss the third test.. he can take rest.. no need to worry to face malinga..ha ha ha

  • Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on August 2, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    they should try amit mishra ...i feel he's better than ojha anyday. :)

  • R.M.Pandian on August 2, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Dohni, please kick out Harbajan or Ojha and give a chance to patel & Misra. it will help us to level the series. Instead of Murali Vijay you can use Raina or keep yuvi out of the team.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on August 2, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    If Malinga plays, there is no point in bringing in Gambhir. I do not think he can make any different to the score card. I am sure Yorker Machine will be a headache for the Indian Batsman. Also H. Singh doesn't make difference to the Indian bowling.

  • howizzat on August 2, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Ideally under the situation, Dravid should open the innings with Sehwag and both Yuvaraj and Raina should get the nod to play in the middle order. Yuvraj can complememt the spin deffiency. Then Munaf can come in place of Harbhajan. So the ELEVEN in the battingoder should be, 1.SEHWAG 2.DRAVID 3.RAINA 4.SACHIN 5.YUVRAJ 6.LAXMAN 7.DHONI 8.MITHUN 9.ISHAN 10.OZHA 11.MUNAF.

  • 11Noobs on August 2, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Who else is worried about India's WC team? Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni and Zaheer are all injury prone.

  • Rohan4U3K_U on August 2, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    take dat harbhajan out...he is not at all nw a strike bowler for india..give chance to youngsters..cha pity on selectors...

  • on August 2, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    What Harbhajan has done for India for last three years is nothing. He should be removed from the Indian team, as the money that has been spending on Harbhajan is national waste as far as I concerned.

  • syedmkr on August 2, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    India can play with M. Vijay open with Sehwag. On the bowling part, Munaf can be better choice ahead of Ishant and Mishra to be in place of Ojha. This combination will certainly take India to level the series... Rest is up to the Selectors; what they are focusing on... They only know.

  • on August 2, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    Cant Understand when players are injured and not fully fit how can the selectors can say they are rested..instead they should tell they are unfilt for the series....Think logically

  • doctorwho on August 2, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    i think murali vijay should be given a chance. he deserve it . although i also agree we should have kept dravid out to keep gambhir in.

    i think this is a blessing from dravid more than vijay.

  • orlurmsana on August 2, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    I think he wants to avoid Malinga. Doesn't wanna score 2 runs again in a test match.

  • royalg on August 2, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    bit dissapointed that gautham hasnt been able to play much this series but his replacement his a brilliant test player soo no complaints, harbhajan hasnt been 100% since the first test and u can tell by his body language out in the field and bowling. i prefer go with 3 quickies and 1 spinner and give shewag more overs.

  • on August 2, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    Thank god Sachin will play his 169th test and will became the most cap player for forever in the history of Test Cricket.....

  • Swami73 on August 2, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    That solves some problems for Dhoni. Yuvraj and Raina can both play. India won't miss Harbhajan at all given his current form. India's best chance is to play 3 seamers+1 spinner. Although there's little to choose between Ojha and Mishra, I will go for the former since he can play a better containing role. I think it is time for batsmen like Dravid and Laxman to perform big time. I am a great fan of Dravid's but I do think it is time for him and Laxman to go out with a bang. I hope one or both of them quits in glory in the next series at home. Unless we take a radical approach, we won't win consistently. Ok fine we don't have an allrounder. But how about playing 6 batsmen + 5 bowlers? I know Dhoni says the fifth bowler needs to be good enough. Is he joking? None of our bowlers is good enough. He comes up with ridiculous statements - like he said "we have always had problems taking 20 wickets. So it isn't a problem really". Throw in someone 'raw' if we don't have anyone else !

  • nataraajds on August 2, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    If Gambhir is ruled out, let Dravid open 6 batsman , 5 bowlers and if Harbhajan not playing.. then go with 7 batsman (Sehwag, M.Vijay, Dravid,sachin Lakshman, Raina,Dhoni and 4 bowlers, Mithun, Ishanth, Munaf,mishra, because we cannot win the test, atleast play for draw.

  • NirajR on August 2, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    For some reason Harbhajan has not been effective this series... hope he gets fully fit for the Aussie tour... Aussies have always brought the best out of Bhajji.... y r they still persisting with Ojha? Give a chance to Amit Mishra or Ashwin.... Also, hope Vijay utilises this oppurtunity properly and seals a place in the team... he is a very stylish player....

  • Vivek.Bhandari on August 2, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    I feel Munaf and Mishra should play as the Lankans played Ojha with much ease. Sehwag can share the responsibility of the 2nd spinner. Also, Raina would be there to roll his fingers.

  • ABDROCKS on August 2, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    VIJAY would have one more chance and raina should be given a chance.mishshy along with ojha will do the turning job.i suggest to bring DHONI at no.3 and laxman at no.7

  • al2qb on August 2, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    India is way too overrated (fullstop)

  • 9ST9 on August 2, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    What a pity - i dare say the sri lankan bowlers would enjoy the prospect of bowling to Murali Vijay.......

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  • 9ST9 on August 2, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    What a pity - i dare say the sri lankan bowlers would enjoy the prospect of bowling to Murali Vijay.......

  • al2qb on August 2, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    India is way too overrated (fullstop)

  • ABDROCKS on August 2, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    VIJAY would have one more chance and raina should be given a chance.mishshy along with ojha will do the turning job.i suggest to bring DHONI at no.3 and laxman at no.7

  • Vivek.Bhandari on August 2, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    I feel Munaf and Mishra should play as the Lankans played Ojha with much ease. Sehwag can share the responsibility of the 2nd spinner. Also, Raina would be there to roll his fingers.

  • NirajR on August 2, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    For some reason Harbhajan has not been effective this series... hope he gets fully fit for the Aussie tour... Aussies have always brought the best out of Bhajji.... y r they still persisting with Ojha? Give a chance to Amit Mishra or Ashwin.... Also, hope Vijay utilises this oppurtunity properly and seals a place in the team... he is a very stylish player....

  • nataraajds on August 2, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    If Gambhir is ruled out, let Dravid open 6 batsman , 5 bowlers and if Harbhajan not playing.. then go with 7 batsman (Sehwag, M.Vijay, Dravid,sachin Lakshman, Raina,Dhoni and 4 bowlers, Mithun, Ishanth, Munaf,mishra, because we cannot win the test, atleast play for draw.

  • Swami73 on August 2, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    That solves some problems for Dhoni. Yuvraj and Raina can both play. India won't miss Harbhajan at all given his current form. India's best chance is to play 3 seamers+1 spinner. Although there's little to choose between Ojha and Mishra, I will go for the former since he can play a better containing role. I think it is time for batsmen like Dravid and Laxman to perform big time. I am a great fan of Dravid's but I do think it is time for him and Laxman to go out with a bang. I hope one or both of them quits in glory in the next series at home. Unless we take a radical approach, we won't win consistently. Ok fine we don't have an allrounder. But how about playing 6 batsmen + 5 bowlers? I know Dhoni says the fifth bowler needs to be good enough. Is he joking? None of our bowlers is good enough. He comes up with ridiculous statements - like he said "we have always had problems taking 20 wickets. So it isn't a problem really". Throw in someone 'raw' if we don't have anyone else !

  • on August 2, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    Thank god Sachin will play his 169th test and will became the most cap player for forever in the history of Test Cricket.....

  • royalg on August 2, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    bit dissapointed that gautham hasnt been able to play much this series but his replacement his a brilliant test player soo no complaints, harbhajan hasnt been 100% since the first test and u can tell by his body language out in the field and bowling. i prefer go with 3 quickies and 1 spinner and give shewag more overs.

  • orlurmsana on August 2, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    I think he wants to avoid Malinga. Doesn't wanna score 2 runs again in a test match.