Injured Gibbs out of game against Sri Lanka

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 19, 2009 (AFP) -
Pakistan skipper Younus Khan has given his team an injury worry ahead of the Champions Trophy after suffering a minor fracture of a little finger during a training session on Friday before a 108-run warm-up triumph over Sri Lanka.

"It is a little fracture and nothing serious. We will assess it on Monday and hopefully it should be alright," Younus told a media conference in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The Pakistanis face neighbours India on September 26 and Younus said he wanted to avenge a defeat by their fiercest rivals in the 2003 World Cup despite scoring 270 runs.

"Virender is so destructive that he allows you to be yourself. He is a legend of the game and you surely miss him. We have a tremendous rapport, on and off the field," revealed Gambhir.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants India to improve their fielding by 20 percent if the dream of a first outright Champions Trophy title is to be realized having shared it with Sri Lanka seven years ago.
He said the knowledge coach Gary Kirsten, who made 180-plus ODI appearances for South Africa, had of conditions at the tournament venues in Johannesburg and Centurion would be precious.

"It definitely helps that he played here all his life. Gary is one of the best coaches I have come across, not just because of his experience but because of the kind of guy he is," said Dhoni.

Meanwhile, a rib injury has ruled South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs out of the opening Champions Trophy match Tuesday against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

He suffered the injury when avoiding a drive from skipper Graeme Smith during a 188-run win over the West Indies Friday in a warm-up game for the biennial one-day tournament.

South Africa physio Brandon Jackson told reporters he hoped Gibbs would be fit for the match against New Zealand on September 24 or against England three days later.

Hashim Amla is a possible replacement in the opening match of the two-week tournament for Gibbs, who boasts a 50-plus Champions Trophy average and scored 21 ODI centuries.

Defending champions Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies comprise Group A with South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England in Group B and the top two in each after a single-round mini-league reach the semi-finals.
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