In a major blow to the Indian squad ahead of their New Zealand tour, opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the T20I team after suffering a shoulder injury during the ODI against Australia in Bengaluru.
“Yes, he has been ruled out of the T20 series. A replacement will be announced soon” a BCCI official told PTI.
Dhawan’s injury scares from the previous year have carried into the new season after he did not come out to open during the successful run chase against Australia on Sunday (January 19).
The southpaw was taken for an x-ray after he hurt his left shoulder during fielding at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium after hurting his left shoulder while diving to save an Aaron Finch shot in the cover region in the fifth over.
KL Rahul came out to bat in his place alongside Rohit Sharma. Dhawan was seen wearing a sling on his left hand.
The 34-year-old Dhawan did not take the field for the entire duration of the Australian innings in the second ODI after a Pat Cummins bouncer hit him on the rib cage while batting.
Dhawan missed the entire limited-overs series against West Indies last month.
He also had to pull out of the 2019 World Cup due to a fractured thumb, an injury he suffered against Australia. In the same game, he had scored a match-winning hundred.
Dhawan had scored 96 and 74 in the first two games of the current series against Australia. India won the series 2-1.
Meanwhile, Senior India pacer Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of next month’s two-Test series in New Zealand after sustaining an ankle tear during a Ranji Trophy game here, a Delhi state cricket association official said.
Ishant, playing for Delhi, had twisted his ankle on his follow-through while bowling against Vidarbha on Monday. The Test series against New Zealand is scheduled to start from February 21 in Wellington.
“Ishant Sharma’s MRI report shows a Grade 3 ankle tear and it is serious. He has been advised six weeks of rest and rehabilitation. It is indeed a big blow,” DDCA general secretary Vinod Tihara told PTI.
Another DDCA official added: “Luckily there is no fracture. There is an ankle tear. The moment he is in a position to walk, he will travel to NCA.”
However, the Indian cricket board is yet to issue a statement on Ishant’s injury.
“It’s a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in BCCI as we will again do his MRI to ascertain degree of tear and decide on his rehabilitation,” a BCCI source said.
Fellow Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini is likely to replace the 96-Test veteran in the Test squad. Ishant was in the middle of his second Ranji Trophy this season, having played the opening home game against Hyderabad last month.
The 31-year-old is an integral part of arguably Indias best ever pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav.
(With inputs from agencies)