Wriddhiman Saha has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series against South Africa with a hamstring injury, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on Tuesday (January 16).
The incumbent wicketkeeper would be replaced by Dinesh Karthik for the third and final Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Dinesh Karthik as the replacement for Wriddhiman Saha for the third and final Test against South Africa. He is set to join the team before the third Test,” the BCCI stated in a press release.
The statement further explained the injury and stated the incumbent keeper-batsman suffered the injury while training one day before the second Test.
“Mr Wriddhiman Saha suffered an upper left hamstring tendon injury during training on Thursday, January 11. The BCCI Medical Team will continue to monitor his progress,” the statement further read.
Saha has been replaced by Parthiv Patel for the ongoing second Test in Centurion, but the latter has not quite managed to deliver on the expected lines. He had dropped two catches in the first innings and had managed to score only 19 with the bat. Even in the second innings, he did not go for a regulation catch, as India badly missed the services of Saha behind the stumps.
Meanwhile, Saha’s replacement Karthik had not played a Test since the Chittagong Test against Bangladesh way back in 2010. The right-handed batsman, who was an integral part of a Test series victory over England in 2007, is a regular in India’s limited-overs teams in recent times after being recalled for last year’s Champions Trophy.
Karthik had returned to the ODI side after a very fruitful outing in the 2016-17 season. He led Tamil Nadu to their fifth Vijay Hazare title by scoring 112 in the final against Bengal. He finished the 50-overs tournament as the top run-getter averaging 86.71 while scoring 607 runs in nine matches.
In the Ranji Trophy, he scored 704 runs in 10 matches at an average of 54.15. He had also led Tamil Nadu to Deodhar Trophy title by scoring 247 runs in three matches. His form in the IPL was equally impressive where he amassed 361 runs in 14 outings at an average of a shade over 36. Even in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the 32-year old has been delivering on a consistent basis and has piled up 211 runs in just five games with the help of three fifties.
So far, Karthik has played 23 Tests and has 1000 runs at an average of 27.78 and one century to his name. The third Test will begin on January 24 in Johannesburg.
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