In a major setback for team India, star batsman KL Rahul has been ruled out of the two-match test series against New Zealand starting in Kanpur on 25 November, the BCCI announced on Tuesday. According to the reports, the prolific run-scorer will not be taking part in the series, which is a part of the WTC 2021-23 due to an injury. Rahul has sustained a muscle strain on his left thigh and has been declared as unfit for the test series against the Kiwis.
“KL Rahul has sustained a muscle strain on his left thigh and has been ruled out of the upcoming two- match series against New Zealand. He will now undergo rehabilitation at NCA in preparation for the series against South Africa scheduled next month,” a statement released by BCCI secretary Jay Shah said.
This is a massive blow to the Indian side as it is already without Rohit Sharma, who is being rested for the series. Besides, another batting phenom Virat Kohli will join the squad and captain the team only in the second test match. The first test match at Kanpur will be captained by Ajinkya Rahane, and it will be the first test match India is going to play after former Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid became the coach of the Indian cricket team after its disastrous outing at the T20I world cup earlier this month.
Versatile batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been added as a replacement to the Test side ahead of the series opener. Yadav, who featured in the recently concluded T20I series between India and New Zealand was also added to the Test squad of the Indian team during their tour of England.
NEWS – Suryakumar Yadav replaces KL Rahul in India’s Test squad.— BCCI (@BCCI) November 23, 2021
KL Rahul has sustained a muscle strain on his left thigh and has been ruled out of the upcoming 2-match Paytm Test series against New Zealand.
More details here –https://t.co/ChXVhBSb6H #INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/uZp21Ybajx
According to reports, Shubman Gill was seen opening the batting along with Mayank Agarwal during the team’s net session as Cheteshwar Pujara, the vice captain for the series-opener, also batted. It is learned from the sources that in absence of India’s batting trio—Rohit, Rahul and Virat, one among Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav will make his test debut and bat in the middle order in the first test match against the New Zealand in Kanpur.
India’s Test squad include Ajinkya Rahane (Captain for first Test), Virat Kohli (will join squad for second Test and lead), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.