HYDERABAD: KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja have been ruled out of the second Test against England. While Rahul has a quad issue, Jadeja had developed an issue with his hamstring. The latter in fact had scans at a local hospital following the Test. On further investigations, the all-rounder will miss at least the second match at Visakhapatnam but it's not expected to be a long-term problem.
In their place, the management have added Washington Sundar, Sarfaraz Khan and Sourabh Kumar for the game, scheduled to begin on Friday.
"Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been ruled out of the second Test against England in Vizag, starting February 02, 2024," a BCCI release stated. "Jadeja sustained a hamstring injury during play on Day 4 of the first Test in Hyderabad while Rahul complained of a right quadriceps pain. The BCCI Medical Team is monitoring the progress of the duo. The Men's Selection Committee have added Sarfaraz Khan, Sourabh Kumar and Washington Sundar to India's squad."
There will naturally be some concerns as both players have had injury problems in the recent past. While Rahul had damaged his hamstring during last year's Indian Premier League before recovering just before the Asia Cup, Jadeja was forced to miss the 2022 T20 World Cup after picking up a knee injury.
Patidar, Sarfaraz in the mix?
Given the make-up of the squad, as it stands, there is a KL Rahul-shaped hole for the No. 4 spot. With Virat Kohli not due to join the squad till the third Test, it's likely that one of Rajat Patidar, who was with the team in Hyderabad, or Sarfaraz Khan, fresh off a 161 against a touring England Lions side last week, will be handed debut caps. It also means Shubman Gill, a batter low on confidence, will likely keep his place.
With the inclusion of Washington, they do have multiple options to replace Jadeja. If India want to ensure their batting line-up remains solid, the all-rounder could well come in. But if they want to add the trickery of Kuldeep Yadav, they could well go down that route. At this stage, the management is likely to favour the left-armer.
England also have an injury concern of their own, with Jack Leach' knee a potential problem. He banged it a few times and was visibly limping on Sunday. If it doesn't heal in time, Shoaib Bashir, who landed in India after his visa ordeal, could be drafted into the XI straightaway.
They may also have an interesting decision to make with pacer Mark Wood. With his injury problems well documented, they may not run the risk of bowling him in back-to-back Tests. If they want to rest him, James Anderson could come in. They also have the option of playing both pacers but there's nothing to suggest that they will go down that route.