Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Saturday rendered a doubtful starter for the third and final One-dayer against Pakistan due to a sore back, forcing the team management to call up Dinesh Karthik as the back up.
Dhoni said at the customary pre-match press conference that he developed soreness on his back during the morning practice session at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi.
He was actually asked about the absence of middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh at the training session and the skipper said, “If at all somebody is doubtful, it’s me. I have a sore back and we have called Dinesh Karthik as back up. Since it was an optional practice session, Yuvraj did not come,” he said.
Asked, who will lead the side if he did not recover in time, Dhoni said, “Let’s hope that I play. We’ll see on Sunday.”
The beleaguered Indian batting line-up could come under more pressure if Dhoni sits out on Sunday. He has been India’s top scorer in the series with an unbeaten 113 in the first match in Chennai and an unbeaten 54 in the second in Kolkata.
Asked if Dhoni’s absence be a setback for Indian batting, which has been struggling to put up decent scores against Pakistan in the first two matches, he replied, “Nobody is irreplaceable. I am sure if Dinesh plays on Sunday, he will bat as good as I batted in the last two games,” he said.