What’s the story?
The injury bug has bitten RCB once again before the start of IPL 2017 as 19-year-old Sarfaraz Khan suffered a leg injury during a practice game at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of their opening game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday (April 5).
Sarfaraz Khan, who was expected to shine in the absence of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, has instead joined the duo on the treatment table after chasing a ball and sliding to recover it. He was fielding at the square leg boundary and he was stretchered off the field in a lot of pain but came back later but the injury is worse than initially feared.
After initially conveying that the youngster will be ruled out of the tournament, the franchise later amended that to “most likely” to be unavailable to take part in the tenth edition of the IPL as confusion reigned supreme over the 19-year-old's availability. But one thing that is certain
RCB coach Daniel Vettori was quoted by Wisden India as saying: “Owing to a leg injury during the final Bangalore-based practice match session, Sarfaraz Khan will most likely be unavailable to play as a part of the RCB squad. We are evaluating the same with the BCCI. His absence will be definitely felt on-field and we wish him a speedy recovery.”.
Sarfaraz is the fourth RCB player to be injured ahead of IPL 2017. KL Rahul, who was struggling with a shoulder injury during the India-Australia series has to undergo surgery and will miss the whole tournament. Captain Virat Kohli also injured his shoulder and although he will miss the first two weeks, his fitness and possible participation later in the tournament will soon be assessed. AB de Villiers, who looked set to captain RCB in Kohli’s absence also injured himself and his back problems mean even he isn’t 100% fit ahead of the tournament.
The treatment table at RCB must be getting incredibly crowded with Rahul, Kohli and AB, their top three run-scorers from IPL 2016 all featuring in the list of injured players. While Sarfaraz wasn't a regular last season, the injuries meant he was supposed to be one of the players who got an opportunity to cement his position but injury has robbed him of that opportunity.
Extra Cover: KL Rahul ruled out of IPL 2017 with shoulder injury
With so many injuries just days ahead of the start of the season, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in what will be a repeat of last year’s final in the first game of IPL 2017 on April 5.
As far as Sarfaraz is concerned, even RCB seem unsure of the exact extent of his injury. The fact that they changed their statement from ruled out to “most likely be unavailable” is proof of that. Fans will be hoping that it isn’t as serious and that will feature in this year’s IPL.
RCB coach Daniel Vettori must be cursing his luck given the staggering amount of injuries that he will have to contend with ahead of the start of IPL 2017. While the franchise were certainly favorites ahead of the start of the tournament, the injuries to key players mean that they will have play well to ensure that they get off a good start.