Colombo: India opener Murali Vijay will miss the first Test against Sri Lanka with a hamstring injury, team director Ravi Shastri said on Monday.
The 31-year-old sustained the niggle in Zimbabwe during India’s recent limited over series there and did not bat in either innings of India’s only warm-up match ahead of the Galle Test starting on Wednesday. (India Set for Sangakkara’s Farewell Party)
“Murali Vijay will not be fit for the first Test. He has not fully recovered and we don’t want to take a chance, especially with weather like this, slippery outfield and things like that,” Shastri told reporters. (‘Rohit Sharma Needed at No. 3 if India Are to Score 300 Runs’)
In his absence, Shikhar Dhawan is set to open the innings with the 23-year-old Lokesh Rahul who has played only two Tests.
“It’s a big blow,” Shastri said of the injury to Vijay, who averages 41.75 after 32 Tests and is one of India’s most consistent batsmen in recent times.
“He is the in-form player, had a fabulous run in Test cricket. He has the ability to play the long innings as he has shown. He will be missed.”
Shastri was coy about the chances of Cheteshwar Puajra, once considered an automatic selection at number three before a slump in form set in.
“We will have to play the best five batsmen, if he fits into that five, he plays, if he doesn’t, he doesn’t play,” the former India test player said.
Murali Vijay ruled out of the first Test in SL with a mild hamstring strain. http://t.co/xvymUqzQSH#IndvsSLpic.twitter.com/bbL9iYd6ij
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 10, 2015