The BCCI senior selection committee has decided to postpone announcing the squad for the South Africa tour due to injuries to numerous players. At least four players — Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shubman Gill, and Ishant Sharma – are doubtful for the trip, according to the Indian Express, as they will need several months to get fully fit.
India’s strength in recent years has been left-arm spin, particularly at home, but with Jadeja and Patel out, selectors may not have a suitable back-up option in South Africa. Patel has a stress fracture, while Jadeja has a ligament injury. In any case, Ravichandran Ashwin is projected to be the main spinner, and the Rainbow Nation rarely needs more than one specialised tweaker.
Jadeja missed the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai where Patel had a decent showing with bat and ball. A source in the cricket board informed that Jadeja’s ligament tear will take months to heal and if he undergoes surgery, he will only get fit before the Indian Premier League next year.
In its press release before the Mumbai Test, the BCCI had given swelling in the forearm as the reason for Jadeja missing the game. “All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja suffered a right forearm injury during the 1st Test match in Kanpur. After undergoing scans, he was diagnosed with a swelling on his forearm. He has been advised rest and is thus ruled out of the 2nd Test in Mumbai,” the release stated.
Jadeja was unable to play in the second Test against New Zealand
in Mumbai, where Patel performed admirably with both bat and ball. According to a source within the cricket board, Jadeja’s ligament damage would take months to heal, and if surgery is required, he will only be able to play in the Indian Premier League next year.
The BCCI stated in a press statement prior to the Mumbai Test that Jadeja’s absence was due to swelling in his forearm. “During the first Test match in Kanpur, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja suffered a right forearm injury. He was diagnosed with a swelling on his forearm after getting tests. He has been told to take it easy and has been ruled out of the 2nd Test in Mumbai, according to the press release.
Patel’s initial assessment revealed a stress reaction that takes at least six weeks to heal, according to sources. He got off to a great start in Test cricket earlier this year, taking 27 wickets against a visiting England squad.
Following his scans, the selectors will make a final judgement on whether or not to send Patel to South Africa.
If the selectors need to pick a left-arm spinner, they have Shahbaz Nadeem and Saurabh Kumar to choose from, the latter of whom is currently playing for India A in South Africa.
Gill’s shin injury has reappeared, and the selectors are undecided about sending him to South Africa. Due to the same issue, the kid missed the Test series in England and experienced soreness during the Mumbai Test. During the second Test, he was again hit on the left forearm while fielding. He was brought to the hospital for a precautionary scan and did not play. India has enough of
alternatives at the top of the order, with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as first-choice openers and Mayank Agarwal impressing against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Sharma is said to be suffering from a side injury and would take some time to recover. The experienced seamer’s output has slowed in recent months, and numerous new players, most notably Mohammed Siraj, have stepped up to the plate. As a result, Sharma’s place in the Indian Test team is no longer secure. The selectors were already considering replacements for Sharma for the South Africa series. The board, it is thought, requested a second opinion on the injuries, so the four players returned to Mumbai on Tuesday and had scans. Starting on December 26, India will play three Tests and three One-Day Internationals in South Africa.