R Ashwin has an abdominal injury while Rohit Sharma has failed to shake off the back jarring he picked up in the opening Test.
R Ashwin took six wickets in India’s 31 run win in the opening Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. (Source: Reuters)
India suffered a three-prong blow to their squad ahead of the second Test against Australia that gets underway on Friday (December 14) at the WACA in Perth. R Ashwin has an abdominal strain on his left side, and Rohit Sharma has a jarred lower back, ruling both of them out of the next Test. Prithvi Shaw continues to be on the path to recovery following his ankle injury during the practice match against Cricket Australia XI. India lead the four-match Test series 1-0 following a 31-run win in the opener in Adelaide.
Rohit had been taken off the field in the second innings as Australia made the 323 run chase with the back injury and has, unfortunately, been unable to recover. In Rohit’s absence, Hanuma Vihari becomes prime candidate to come into the setup for the No. 6 slot – which was the toss up in the opening Test.
R Ashwin’s injury will come as a blow to India after he took six wickets in the match to make a difference with persistent line and length and making the most of the rough patches. The off spinner bowled 86.5 overs in Adelaide – most he has bowled in a single Test. This included a marathon 52.5 overs in the second innings which were the most by an Indian bowler in the fourth innings.
Ashwin has a history of abdominal and groin injury concerns in the recent past. Early this year, he played the Southampton Test against England with a groin injury. He also missed the IPL 2017 with a groin injury that was picked up during India’s 13-Test home season of 2016-17.
To India’s favour, WACA’s green top will assist seamers which would mean India could go with an all seam attack. To fill in as a spin bowling option, Kohli could bowl his arm over with his off spin.
Shaw was seen running up and down the Adelaide Oval on the fifth day of the opening Test as he continues to get back to full fitness. “Shaw is recovering well from his left ankle injury but still undergoing treatment,” BCCI said in a release.
Replacing the injured Ashwin and Rohit are spin-bowling allrounder Hanuma Vihari and pacers Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, with Ravindra Jadeja the sole spinner in the 13-man squad.
In the contest between Bhuvneshwar and Umesh, the latter has the pace but Bhuvi’s superior batting ability and skill as a swing bowler could see him play in Perth.
India’s 13-man squad for second Test: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.