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Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of India's remaining two Tests against Sri Lanka after fracturing his right hand. Dhawan had injured the hand during the first Test in Galle.
Investigations done in Galle were inconclusive and the swelling on Dhawan's hand did not subside. After the Test ended, further tests carried out in Colombo revealed a hairline fracture. He will now require four to six weeks to recover from the injury.
Dhawan suffered the injury while attempting a catch at slip during Kaushal Silva's innings on the opening day. He scored 134 and 28, and did not take the field during Sri Lanka's second innings. The injury was aggravated to the extent that his hand was swollen considerably when he went in to bat on the third day. The Sri Lanka bowlers tried to make Dhawan play forward as much as possible to stretch the use of the top hand during his second-innings knock of 28.
Ravi Shastri, India's team director, praised Dhawan's gutsy batting in the Galle Test, and termed the injury "unfortunate".
"The courage he showed in the last Test match, because that injury was before he batted in the first innings. He played with a crack (on the hand) and he got a hundred and he came out when his hand was really, really bad in that second innings and again batted and got 30," Shastri said. "That's the positive I take out from a player - courageous, and when the team needed him he was there. It was unfortunate … because Shikhar is a class act, he has been brilliant for us."
India's other first-choice opener, M Vijay, had missed the Test after failing to recover from a hamstring injury he sustained in Zimbabwe. His place was taken by KL Rahul, who managed 7 and 5 in the first Test. India did not name a replacement for Dhawan, which could be a sign that Vijay will be fit for the second Test starting at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on August 20.
"We are watching Murali. I don't see that as an issue at the moment," Shastri said.