India’s white-ball captain Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the three-match Test series against South Africa because of injury concerns. It is being reported that Priyank Panchal, who was the captain of the India A team during the recently concluded three-match series has been announced as his replacement. This is a big blow to Team India days after the Hitman was announced as the new vice-captain of the Test team.
The Mumbai Indians star sustained an injury during a practice session at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai where he was practicing for the past one week. It is not yet clear whether Rohit will be fit in time for the ODIs.
There has been no official confirmation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which is expected soon. However, it is sure that the Indian opener who was also not part of the Indian contingent for the two-Test matches against New Zealand will not be there for the Test matches the first of which is set to commence on December 16.
Will Ravichandran Ashwin be named the vice-captain in Tests?
It would be interesting to see who is named as the vice-captain for the Tests now, given that Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the XI is not guaranteed after a string of low scores. Ravichandran Ashwin could have ideally been an option but given that he was not picked for any of Test matches in England earlier this year, is he on the radar of the team management?
What also works in Ashwin’s favour is that both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel were injured which means that he is almost certain of being picked in the Test matches. Among other options could be Cheteshwar Pujara who was the deputy to Rahane in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur but then again Pujara hasn’t performed as per the expectations.
The Indian team has never managed to win a Test series in South Africa and will want to make amends to that record this time around under Virat Kohli. But an injury to Rohit who has been one of their better batters across formats in the build-up to this series will certainly hurt.