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Injury likely to keep Gambhir out of IPL for long


New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils skipper Gautam Gambhir’s hamstring injury will keep him out of Friday’s Indian Premier League match against Chennai Super Kings.

Gambhir pulled his hamstring early in the match which the Daredevils lost to Mumbai Indians by 98 runs and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik deputised for him.

Delhi Daredevils assistant coach Eric Simons said Gambir’s condition is “reasonably serious” and a decision on his return to the side will be taken after obtaining doctors’ opinion on the scan he underwent Thursday morning.

“He (Gambhir) had gone this morning for the scan to see how bad the condition is. He was very tender last night and we will see the report before taking a call on how long he will be out of the game. I think he is reasonably sore, and reasonably serious. He won’t play tomorrow, but we don’t know at this stage how bad the injury is,” he said.

Gambhir is the latest to join the growing injury list in the Indian Premier League III. Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rajasthan Royal’s Graeme Smith and Dimitri Mascarenhas are already out of the league with injuries.

Simons, who is also the India bowling coach, however, said a proper assessment needs to be made to see whether the injuries are related to the IPL.

“The IPL has become a very important part of international cricket. I suppose one has to look at the overall picture of over 12-24 months. If after assessment one finds that the injuries are related to the tournament, then we will be more aware,” he said.

The South African said they are yet to decide on the team composition.

“We had a long discussion in the morning, we have had an interesting net session where we played our options. Twenty20 is all about getting the balance right. A lot of thought needs to be given in the next 12-15 hours and we will take a call accordingly.”

Asked whether strategy has a role in Twenty20 cricket, Simons said: “Sometimes a strategy pays off and it’s very good, but sometimes it backfires. You have to take chances and in that way you win matches.”

“Instead of sticking to a plan, you should have plan A, B, and C. In fact, one needs to think as per the situation. I think what is important is to have a thought-based strategy and not think too much about the opposition.”

Simons said Mumbai Indians batted particularly well to take the match away from his team.

“Mumbai Indians batted particularly well. Their strategy also paid off. They firmly believed that they needed to score 170-180 and they got more than that. Sometimes as a bowler you have to judge whether you have bowled according to the plan and if you have and the batsmen still score runs, good luck to them. I am not looking into the amount the runs they scored, but a lot of credit should go to the Mumbai Indians for the way they batted.”

On the team’s strategy against Chennai Super Kings, Simons said: “We will focus on our strengths. Of course, you do have to keep an eye on key individuals in the opposition, but the focus should be on what we can do and what we cannot and bowl accordingly.”