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Home > Cricket > Pakistan's tour of India 2007 > Report

Tendulkar, Dhoni may miss Bangalore Test

Harish Kotian in Bangalore | December 07, 2007 11:34 IST
Last Updated: December 07, 2007 15:09 IST

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India's woes ahead of the third and final Test in Bangalore intensified on Friday when Sachin Tendulkar [Images] and Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] joined the already-long injury list.

Tendulkar is almost certain to miss the Test after aggravating a knee injury in the previous Test in Kolkata, while Dhoni continues to struggle with an ankle injury.

"Sachin, while fielding in the Kolkata Test, aggravated a mild knee problem from the ODI series. Immediately on arrival in Bangalore, a specialist's opinion was sought and on his advice an injection was administered. His condition continues to improve. However, should he fail to recover completely by the morning we feel it wise to call for back-up.

We need to assess him tomorrow morning," captain Anil Kumble [Images] said in Bangalore, referring to physio John Gloster's report.

Kumble also added that Delhi left-hander Gautam Gambhir [Images] has been called up as back-up.

India's captain said if Tendulkar misses the match then Dhoni may be forced to play.

"Dhoni has had an ankle injury in the one-day series which he was strapping up and continuing to play. We were initially thinking of resting him for this game but due to this new development on Sachin, we still aren't sure. At this point in time we are still unsure so I can't really tell you if he is going to play or not," he said.

Kumble further added that the Indian wicketkeeper needs a week's rest and with an important tour to Australia looming ahead, he could be rested too.

"He needs about seven days rest to get 100 percent but it's not that he can't play with strapping. But it's important for us to look ahead because there's a lot of cricket coming up. We need to wait until the morning of the match before we take any decision," he said.

The 37-year-old also hinted there are chances that Dinesh Karthik [Images] could take on the gloves and might bat lower down the order.

"It all depends. It's still unclear. There are possibilities that it might happen, but it all depends on how everyone pulls up in the morning," he said.

However, the inclusion of Yuvraj Singh [Images] is still not guaranteed. Initially, the team management had decided on playing the left-hander in place of Dhoni. But with Tendulkar's inclusion looking highly unlikely, India want to retain Dhoni even if he plays as a batsman.

The Jharkhand-batsman scored a fifty in the second innings in Kolkata and is one of India's batting mainstays in Tests. If he plays in the third Test, he may not keep wickets and in such a scenario Karthik will be given the gloves and drop down the order, paving the way for Gambhir at the top.

So that means Yuvraj may again miss out on playing in a Test match. He last played a Test match for India way back in July 2006 in the West Indies [Images].

"Initially that was the idea. If Dhoni was given a rest then obviously Yuvraj would have come in. That's a possibility and he certainly deserves his chance and I am sure he will be looking forward to it," Kumble said.

When questioned why Gambhir was added as cover when Yuvraj is already in the squad, Kumble replied: "Just in case somebody pulls up in the morning with a stiff neck or someone pulls up on the field. We don't have a back-up so it's important that we have a batsman as back-up."

The BCCI later said in a statement that if Tendulkar plays the match then Gambhir will be relieved for Delhi's Ranji Trophy match, starting December 9.

India have already lost their frontline bowlers � Zaheer Khan [Images], RP Singh, S Sreesanth [Images] -- and Munaf Patel [Images] has been ruled out of the third Test with injury. The hosts lead the series 1-0 and are hoping to win their first Test series at home against Pakistan since 1979.-80.

The weather in Bangalore is also not ideal for cricket with persistent drizzle lashing the city for the last two days. Both teams had a light net session on Friday coupled with an indoor session at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.

The chances of the third Test starting on time on day one on Saturday look highly unlikely at the moment.

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