Colombo:Indian opener Gautam Gambhir was on Monday ruled out of the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka after failing to recover from a knee injury, while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is also a doubtful starter for the match beginning on Tuesday.
Announcing the developments, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Gambhir has not recovered from the injury which had forced him to sit out of the drawn second match while Harbhajan is still uncertain for the final match of the three-Test series, which the visitors are trailing 0-1.
"Gautam (Gambhir) is injured. He wont be playing tomorrow. Right now Harbhajan is also doubtful for the match," Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the third Test which starts at the P Sara Oval here.
"There is bit of niggle in his (Harbhajan's) calf. Not sure how serious it is, so we will take a call on him before the game," he said.
The development means that Tamil Nadu batsman Murali Vijay, who scored a half-century in the first innings of the second Test, will yet again open the batting with Virender Sehwag as Dhoni has rejected the possibility of fielding a makeshift opener in the crucial match.
He also made it clear that either Suresh Raina, who scored a century in his debut in the second Test, or Yuvraj Singh will have to sit out of the final Test.
"You know the choice between Suresh Raina and Yuvraj is a difficult one. I will just protect the decision till tomorrow morning. Whatever the team decides, we will go by it," Dhoni said.
"I don't think any one of them (either Raina or Yuvraj) can open the innings. It will be unjustified. It will not really solve our problem. So we will be going with a specialist opener and one of them will be playing this game," he said.