Injury woes for India and Sri Lanka ahead of their Asia Cup tie

With openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan nursing injuries, a window of opportunity may come up for those sitting out, says a report in The Indian Express.

“Dhawan and Rohit have forged a strong association upfront which contributed immensely to their team’s recent winning streak in the shortest format. In the three T20 internationals in Australia, they had opening partnerships of 40, 97 and 46 as India achieved a clean sweep. In the home series against Sri Lanka, they posted 0, 75 and 29. The only time both openers failed — against Sri Lanka — in Pune, India lost,” says the report, adding with World T20 round the corner, the team management, however, is expected to be judicious in picking the playing XI against Sri Lanka and the way Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina were put through their paces during today’s practice suggested a backup plan.

“Ajinkya Rahane won’t mind another opportunity though. Not an automatic pick in this format, he has failed to make an impact in the four matches – three against Sri Lanka at home and one against Pakistan here – he played. Rahane, trained alongside Raina and then, team director Ravi Shastri took him near the centre square to have a one-on-one with the Mumbai batsman. Parthiv Patel provides another option up the order. But as per the tournament rules, he can only play if someone is out injured. His peripheral presence in the nets dropped a hint that his services would probably not be required,” says the report.

According to a report in the Telegraph, India are not only team being bugged by injuries, Sri Lanka have their own headache. Strike bowler Lasith Malinga's knee problem has again flared up and has put his further participation in the tournament in doubt.

"I don't know if Lasith will be available in the next two games as it is a fitness related issue. His injury has again flared up," stand-in captain Angelo Mathews had said after Sunday's loss against Bangladesh.

More than the challenge posed by the defending World T20 champions, the Indian team will like to set their house in order as far injuries are concerned. For the record, India have won seven out of the eight games they have played this year.

A report in BangaIore Mirror says India are a little jittery with the injury to skipper MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, but they will still start favourites against a depleted and struggling Sri Lanka in their penultimate league encounter of the Asia Cup on Tuesday. “India have the edge against the island nation, whom they beat 2-1 in a recent series. An injury to captain and lead strike bowler, Lasith Malinga, whose knee problem has flared up again, has also left the Lankans in a quandary,” says the report.