India suffered a minor injury scare on Thursday morning when Pragyan Ojha was hit on the neck while batting during a practice session ahead of the third ODI against Sri Lanka. The left-arm spinner was rushed to the hospital. He was released after a check-up and a precautionary scan.
“It's nothing serious. He's absolutely fine and will be available for selection for the third ODI on Saturday,” said Ravi Jain, the media manager.
The spinner got hit when he attempted and missed a pull while facing throw-downs from Trevor Penny, the fielding coach. The ball caught him on the left side of his neck.
Incidentally, Rahul Sharma, the leg spinner in the squad, too was hit, on the forehead, before India embarked on the tour during the preparatory camp in Chennai.
Ojha’s form in the current series has been a bit erratic. He conceded over seven runs per over in the first ODI, which India won, while he bowled just five balls in the second One-dayer that India lost.
With the action shifting to spin-friendly Colombo from the windy Hambantota, the spinners' role will become crucial.
As Rahul Sharma’s inclusion in the final XI remains doubtful in the wake of his testing positive for drugs during the Mumbai rave party, India will need Ojha to be fighting fit for the match. Sri Lanka, which fielded four seamers in Hambantota to successfully exploit the conditions, are also likely to return to their normal spin-heavy attack.