BENGALURU: The first one-day international proved to be a match to forget for India and Rishabh Pant against Australia in Mumbai. India lost the game by ten wickets and the wicket-keeper suffered concussion after being hit by a Pat Cummins’ delivery in the first innings.
After being taken to the hospital, though his scan reports came out clear, the southpaw will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to undergo rehabilitation. As a result, the player has been officially ruled out of the second ODI in Rajkot, starting Friday. There is no clarity about his participation in the third ODI, which is scheduled in Bengaluru on Sunday as well.
There is not much gap between the two games and it remains to be seen if the player will be in perfect shape to play in the city. "He was taken tothe hospital for overnight monitoring under a specialist....His availability for the final ODI will be based on how he responds during the rehabilitation protocol," said a Board of Control for Cricket in India release late evening.
"With head injuries, one has to be very careful. It is a good thing that he will be heading towards the NCA. It can be seen if there is a need for some expert advice further than a call can be taken on that too," said a top BCCI official, who was present at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Who will replace Pant in XI?
When Pant did not take to the field in the second innings, KL Rahul donned the gloves for the Men in Blue. That could be the protocol for the next game too as they have no back up wicket-keeper in the current 15. The other option being Kedar Jadhav. As of now, no replacement has been named for the second match of the series so far.
Irrespective of who keeps behind the wicket, one spot remains open in the playing XI and the team management has to take a call. It depends on the team combination, which they would like to adopt. In the first game, they just played with five bowlers, but they could be tempted to get in Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube, who is capable of some big hits and medium pace also.
But, the other options could be Manish Pandey, who has been in fine form this domestic season and Jadhav, who can bat and bowl off-spin too.Former India pacer L Balaji feels that India might try and strengthen their batting department for the next match.
"The wicket-keeper is a specialist position. It all depends on the team management and if they were happy with how Rahul kept wickets in Mumbai in Pant’s absence, then they could consider getting in either of Jadhav or Pandey to strengthen the middle order," said former India pacer L Balaji.