Indian opener KL Rahul has been left out of the team for the third Test against England after he aggravated a forearm injury on the eve of the match. He sustained the injury while fielding during the previous Test at Visakhapatnam and exacerbated the same in the nets a day before the start of the Test. He was suggested rest by the support staff after he complained of discomfort while batting.
In the absence of Rahul, Parthiv Patel, who has been inducted in the Test side after an eight-year hiatus, will open the innings, partnering Murali Vijay at the top of the order. Karun Nair, the Jodhpur-born batsman who plays for Karnataka, made his debut and was handed the India cap by former captain Sunil Gavaskar prior to the match.
Rahul had sustained a hamstring injury during the Kanpur Test against New Zealand on their tour of India last month, and was replaced by veteran Delhi batsman Gautam Gambhir in the starting XI. However, Gambhir couldn’t latch onto his place in the side for long, failing to contribute a major score. Virat Kohli had made it clear that Gambhir was just a makeshift arrangement, and Rahul would be called back whenever he is fit to play.
Rahul proved his fitness and form by turning out for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, scoring 76 and 106 to state a big claim for a comeback into the side. He was recalled for the Visakhapatnam Test against England but failed to fire, returning with scores of 0 and 10.
At the toss, Virat Kohli mentioned the reason for KL Rahul’s absence, and announced Karun Nair’s inclusion in the side. “KL Rahul exaggerated his injury that he got in the last game. Karun Nair will make his debut and will bat at 6. Parthiv Patel will open the innings with Vijay”, he said.
In 10 Tests, he has scored 572 runs at an average of 33.64, with three centuries and one half-century to his credit. He has gone past the score of fifty thrice, and has scored a century on all three occasions. Since being recalled for the West Indies tour, Rahul has played seven innings and averaged 45.14, with one century and one half century, including his career best score of 158. However, in the 17 innings, he has as many as eight single digit scores.
Injuries have troubled Rahul for a long time. To put things into perspective, he has already missed for matches for India than Rahul Dravid did in his entire 16-year career.