India have been given three major blows ahead of the second Test versus New Zealand: vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, pacer Ishant Sharma, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja all have been ruled out of the Mumbai Test due to injuries, the BCCI announced on Friday morning.
Ajinkya Rahane, who led the side in the drawn Kanpur Test, sustained a minor left hamstring strain while fielding on the fifth day of the Kanpur Test.
The senior batsman has not recovered completely, and hence he has been ruled out of the 2nd Test in Mumbai. Ishant Sharma dislocated his left little finger during the final day in Kanpur. Both of their progress will be closely monitored by the BCCI Medical team.
Ravindra Jadeja suffered a right forearm injury 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.
Mohammed Siraj is likely to replace Ishant in the eleven. Jayant Yadav is another spin-bowling all-rounder who could get a game in place of Jadeja.
We have made changes in the past looking at combinations: Virat Kohli
Skipper Virat Kohli returns to the side after being rested for the first Test. There were doubts about who would make way for Kohli, but now he is set to come in for the struggling Ajinkya Rahane while Shreyas Iyer will keep his place after his record-breaking Test debut in Kanpur.
Speaking on the day before the game, without giving away anything, Kohli had asserted that the management will make the decision based on what is best for the team.
“You have to understand the situation of where the team is placed, you have to understand where individuals stand. You have to communicate well, speak to the individuals and approach them in a way, explain things clearly,” Kohli said on Thursday.
“We have made changes in the past looking at combinations, we have explained to individuals and they have understood our mindset behind going in with certain combinations,” he added.
After the New Zealand series, India are scheduled to fly to South Africa. However, that could be delayed amid the threats posed by the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron.