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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Rahul in doubt for WTC final

Lucknow Super Giants captain suffered a hip-flexor injury, while chasing a ball and has been ruled out of the IPL

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 04.05.23, 07:23 AM
(L-R) KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha

(L-R) KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha Sourced by the Telegraph

KL Rahul’s unexpected injury during the IPL match against RCB could open the door for Wriddhiman Saha or Ishan Kishan in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at The Oval from June 7.

Lucknow Super Giants captain Rahul suffered a hip-flexor injury, while chasing a ball and has been ruled out of the IPL, putting his participation in next month’s WTC final in serious doubt. He will fly to Mumbai on Thursday to undergo scans and then head to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation.

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The exact nature and extent of his injury will be known once the scan reports are available.

The Super Giants captain’s teammate, Jaydev Unadkat, also suffered an injury on his left shoulder at nets and could need around six weeks for rehabilitation and recovery. Thus the left-arm pacer too is doubtful for the WTC final.

The first set of players and support staff are scheduled to leave on May 23 and the replacements have to be named before that.

Rahul’s injury has forced the Indian team management to rework their plans for the Test. It was almost decided at the selection committee mee­ting that Rahul’s addition as a keeper in the XI would strengthen the batting order.

The 15-member squad includes KS Bharat as the specialist wicketkeeper but the team management is looking for someone with experience in English conditions. The absence of any preparatory match has also forced them to treat Bharat as a back-up.

Kishan hasn’t played a Test yet and the flamboyant batter’s inclusion could be a sort of a gamble which the selectors may not be keen to take. The experienced Saha is a veteran of 40 Tests but hasn’t played one in England.

Saha, 38, last played a Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede in December 2021 and wasn’t considered thereafter since the team manage­ment wanted to give the youn­gsters a chance. But Rishabh Pant’s accident and the injury to Rahul has brought Saha back in the mix again.

“Kishan will be ahead in the race but Saha’s name will come up for discussion. There’s no denying the fact that his keeping is still the best,” a source told The Telegraph.

Among the pacers, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are available but there’s a fitness cloud over KKR’s Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur. Both are being monitored by the BCCI’s medical team and are expected to be available for selection soon.

In case any of them miss out at the last minute, Avesh Khan or Umran Malik could come into the picture.

Rajat surgery

Bangalore: Rajat Patidar has undergone successful surgery to repair an injured Achilles heel that had ruled him out of the ongoing IPL season for his franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Patidar, who had suffered the injury before joining the RCB training camp, took to social media to inform followers that he was “on the road to recovery”.

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