In­dia’s Ro­hit Sharma out of Eng­land tests, Ishant back

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

In­dia will be with­out three of their first-choice bats­men in the first two tests against Eng­land after open­ers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, and mid­dle-or­der bats­man Ro­hit Sharma were ruled out due to in­juries. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma re­turned to the 15-man squad after miss­ing the test series against New Zealand due to ill­ness while un­capped all-rounder Hardik Pandya re­ceived a first call-up to the na­tional side for the longer for­mat.

Right-han­der Ro­hit, who bats in the mid­dle or­der in the test team, suf­fered a thigh in­jury dur­ing the fi­nal one-day in­ter­na­tional against New Zealand. He was ex­pected to be side­lined for six to eight weeks, with a pos­si­bil­ity that he may also need to un­dergo surgery, In­dia’s se­lec­tion com­mit­tee chief MSK Prasad told re­porters.

“Ro­hit Sharma has been badly in­jured and there is a scope of even sur­gi­cal intervention,” for­mer In­dia wick­et­keeper Prasad said. “There is a chance he is go­ing to be as­sessed in Eng­land. He is def­i­nitely ruled out for the test series.” Rahul suf­fered a ham­string in­jury dur­ing the first test against New Zealand in Septem­ber and is still re­cu­per­at­ing.

His open­ing part­ner Dhawan frac­tured his left thumb after be­ing hit twice in the same area dur­ing the se­cond New Zealand test in Kolkata and his place was taken by Gau­tam Gamb­hir in the fol­low­ing match at In­dore.

Re­called after two years, Gamb­hir scored a half cen­tury in the se­cond in­nings against New Zealand and is ex­pected to open along­side Mu­rali Vi­jay when the open­ing match of the five-test series against Eng­land kicks off in Ra­jkot next week.


Ishant was ruled out of the New Zealand series after fail­ing to re­cover from the mos­quito-borne vi­ral dis­ease Chikun­gunya but has proved his fit­ness by bowl­ing ex­ten­sively in do­mes­tic Ranji Tro­phy matches.

Seamer Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar re­cov­ered from the ham­string in­jury he suf­fered dur­ing the se­cond test against New Zealand and was avail­able for se­lec­tion but over­looked be­cause he had not played a first-class game.

The 23-year-old Pandya, who bowls medium pace and is an use­ful lower-or­der bats­man, made his 50-over de­but for In­dia in the series against New Zealand and has been fast­tracked to the test squad.

“After the Aus­tralia A tour his pace has in­creased, he is able to move the ball much bet­ter, his bats­man­ship has im­proved,” Prasad said, adding In­dia needed to iden­tify top all­rounders. “He has mel­lowed down as a per­son.

“He is one all-rounder we think is an equally com­pe­tent bowler and a bats­man and a good fielder too.”

Ravichan­dran Ashwin and Ravin­dra Jadeja were rested in the ODI series against New Zealand and will lead In­dia’s spin at­tack against the English bats­men, who had a tor­rid time in their drawn two-test series in Bangladesh re­cently.

Leg-spin­ner Amit Mishra and off-spin­ner Jayant Ya­dav, yet to play a test, are the other slow bowlers in the squad.

Eng­land are the last team to have won a series in In­dia when they claimed a 2-1 tri­umph in 2012 against the hosts, who are cur­rently ranked num­ber one in the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil test rank­ings.

Squad: Gau­tam Gamb­hir, Mu­rali Vi­jay, Karun Nair, Vi­rat Kohli (cap­tain), Chetesh­war Pu­jara, Ajinkya Ra­hane, Wrid­dhi­man Sahs (wick­et­keeper), Ravichan­dran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravin­dra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mo­hammed Shami, Umesh Ya­dav, Jayant Ya­dav, Hardik Pandya. — Reuters

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