India’s opening batsman Murali Vijay and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha will miss the rest of the Sri Lanka Test series due to hamstring injuries, the team management said on Sunday (23).
Uncapped young opener Karun Nair will replace Vijay, and Naman Ojha, who is also yet to play a Test, will come in for Saha ahead of the third and final Test in Colombo from Friday (28).
Vijay, who missed the first Test in Galle due to a hamstring niggle, aggravated the same injury after being picked for the ongoing second Test in Colombo where he made 0 and 82.
“Vijay has sustained mild re-occurrence on a pre-existing injury in his right hamstring and will need further training to recover completely,” a team statement said.
Saha suffered a strain in his right hamstring while batting in India’s second innings on Sunday and did not take the field when Sri Lanka batted, leaving Lokesh Rahul to keep wickets.
Saha, a useful lower-order batsman, hit half-centuries in each of the first two Tests.
Nair, a 23-year-old from Karnataka, scored a match-saving 114 not out for India’A’ in an unofficial Test against South Africa ‘A’ last week.
Ojha, 32, played a solitary one-day international and two Twenty20 matches during India’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe in July. He was also called up as reserve wicket-keeper on India’s tours of England and Australia last year.
India lost the first Test against Sri Lanka by 63 runs but bounced back to win the second game in Colombo by 278 runs to level the series.
Meanwhile, India’s pace spearhead Ishant Sharma was on Sunday fined 65 per cent of his match fee for on-field misconduct on two occasions during the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Sharma was charged with breaching provisions of the players’ code of conduct which relates to “using language, actions or gestures which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his dismissal,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement.
The lanky seamer was fined 15 per cent for provoking Lahiru Thirimanne after dismissing him during the third day’s play on Saturday, and another 50 per cent for repeating the act against Dinesh Chandimal three overs later.
Match referee Andy Pycroft said Sharma’s aggressive behaviour against Chandimal “warranted a higher sanction than the first offence”, the ICC said.
Sharma admitted the offences to Pycroft on Sunday, the governing body added.
On Saturday, Thirimanne had been fined 30 per cent of his fees for showing dissent at the umpire’s decision after being given out.
The exact amount of fines was not disclosed since match fees of the players are not made public.