Bangalore:India captain Anil Kumble said on Friday that opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has been asked to standby for injured Sachin Tendulkar for the third and final Test against Pakistan beginning in Bangalore on Saturday.
Wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is also a doubtful starter after injuring his hand and may miss the match that Pakistan need to win to square the series 1-1.
"While fielding in the Kolkata Test Sachin aggravated a mild knee problem from the ODI series," Kumble told reporters at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Kumble, who will be leading the national side for the first time on his home ground, said Tendulkar has been given injection on the advice of a specialist. The batting maestro missed practice sessions both Thursday and Friday.
"His condition continues to improve. But if he fails to recover by tomorrow, we feel it would be wise to call for backup. We will assess him tomorrow morning," he said.
Dhoni, on the other hand, practised with the team Thursday. But Kumble said a decision on Dhoni's inclusion in the playing XI would be taken on Saturday morning.
"At this point, we are still unsure, so I can't really tell you if he is going to play or not," said Kumble.
"He needs about seven days' rest to get 100 percent. 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," he added.
The absence of Tendulkar or Dhoni's will give a chance to Yuvraj Singh to finally play his first Test since June last year on the tour of the West Indies. Kumble said that the Punjab left-hander deserved his chance to play.
India won the first Test in Delhi to lead the series 1-0.
Pakistan have not lost a series on Indian soil for 28 years. The last time Pakistan lost a series in India was in 1979 when Asif Iqbal's side went down 0-2.