India were struck with a huge blow when KL Rahul was ruled out of the Mohali test due to a forearm injury and young Karun Nair was awarded the blue cap for the first time. Adding to the misery, Wriddhiman Saha was also benched for the third test due to his strained left thigh, which paved the way for southpaw Parthiv Patel to stand behind the sticks.
Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan, who was ruled out of the side during the New Zealand test series, recovered from his thumb injury and played a Ranji match against Rajasthan at Wayanad, is in contention for the Mumbai test.
As per the reports of the Indian Express, the official team statement states, “KL Rahul sustained a blow to his left forearm while fielding in Vizag. Injury got exaggerated in the nets. He feels uncomfortable while batting. BCCI medical team advised him rest to fully recover."
Rahul has played 10 tests, 3 ODIs, and 5 T20 Internationals so far, and was shortlisted for the squad after scoring a century and a half-century for Karnataka in the Ranji trophy. He missed the one-off test in Bangladesh last year due to dengue and also went out of action after suffering a hamstring strain in Kanpur against New Zealand.
The team management waited more than usual to confirm the news this time considering the fact that both Rahul and Saha are the first choice players in the Indian cricket team. Rahul was seen batting in the nets during both days of India’s practice at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali, but Kohli revealed during the toss that he didn’t make the team.
Though the first test ended in a draw, India came back strongly in the second test at Vizag, defeating the visitors convincingly by virtue of some brilliant all-round performances by captain Virat Kohli and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. England would be eager to win the next match as they did four years ago, when they overturned a 0-1 deficit and won the next two matches and the series.