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Gambhir doubtful for second Ind-SL Test

Zeecric Bureau

Colombo: Even before the start of the second Test match against Sri Lanka, Team India received a big blow as dashing opener Gautam Gambhir was declared doubtful for the game after suffering a foot injury.

Gambhir, who could not do much with the bat in the opening Test, will have to undergo a fitness Test before the start of the game.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he is not sure of Gambhir`s availability for the match.

"As far as injuries goes Gautam is having a problem with either the left or right knee. I am not 100 per cent sure which knee. So we will take a call may be in the evening or tomorrow morning before the game," Dhoni said.

India are already missing fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and S Sreeanth due to injuries.

Sri Lanka`s fast bowler Lasith Malinga has also been ruled out of the match due to a knee problem.

The second of the three-match Test series between India and Sri Lanka kicks off on Monday at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo.

India had lost the first Test played at Galle by 10 wickets.

The visitors were outplayed in all departments of the game in the first match and they risk being dislodged from their ICC top ranking, besides surrendering the three-match series, if they lose the second Test.

A 2-0 or 3-0 series scoreline in Sri Lanka`s favour will remove India from the perch and lift the hosts to the top spot.

India can regain their top ranking if they win the third Test starting on August 3 at P Sara Oval as a 1-2 series loss will keep them safe at the perch.

A loss in the second Test will also mean that India continue their 17-year-old jinx of not winning a Test series in Sri Lanka after Mohammad Azharuddin-led side`s feat in 1993.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that lack of experience in the pace attack and failure to build partnerships while batting have cost his side the first Test.

"We lacked experience in bowling. It was a learning experience for the seamers, but they did a decent job. We did not have big partnerships while batting. Once you lose your top six or seven batsmen and if you don`t have too many runs on the board it becomes very difficult," Dhoni had said after the first Test.

With the pace bowling resources severely depleted in the absence of strike bowler Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth, the onus is now on the batting stars to perform and pile up runs if the visitors are to bounce back in the three-match series.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh were among the runs in the first Test but their performances were not enough to prevent a 10-wicket defeat to Kumar Sangakkara`s men.

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