Big blow for India as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane battle fitness concerns prior to first Test vs England

In their absence, Rohit Sharma is leading the Indian side against the County Select XI.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 20 July 2021 9:02 pm

It isn't the most pleasing news from the Indian contingent in the United Kingdom. Although the team has started its warm-up game against County Select XI, they were without two of their big players in the 3-day practice match and it was none other than the duo of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. While reports had earlier suggested that the star players have been rested, a clarification put out by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that the two are, in fact, battling fitness concerns.

While skipper Kohli complained of some stiffness in his back on the eve of the match and has been rested as a precautionary measure as suggested by the BCCI Medical team, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has mild swelling around his left upper hamstring and has even received an injection for the same. "He is expected to fully recover well in time for the first Test against England starting from 4th August at Nottingham," the BCCI release adds.

Here's the official update by BCCI:

In their absence, Rohit Sharma is leading the Indian side against the County Select XI. After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the Hitman failed to score big in the warm-up game as he became the first wicket to fall on the day scoring just 9 off 33. KL Rahul, who is the designated wicket-keeper in this 3-day fixture, with the unavailability of Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha, was impressive with the bat, scoring a half-century.

Avesh Khan, Washington Sundar feature in County Select XI side

Meanwhile, the release shared by the BCCI has also confirmed that it was the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that made a formal request to the Indian team management to let two players from the India join the County Select XI as several of their players were unavailable either due to injuries or coming in close contacts with Coronavirus positive personnel.

Also Read: Avesh Khan, Washington Sundar playing for County Select XI in warm-up game against India

Consequently, net bowler Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar featured in the County Select XI side. To make matters worse for India, Avesh became a victim of an injury while trying to intercept a shot from Hanuma Vihari and was forced to leave the field. As a result, the right-arm pacer injured his left thumb.

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