SA vs India: Rohit Sharma ruled out of Test series
In a huge blow to Team India, Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the three-Test series against South Africa due to an injury. The senior Indian opener sustained a left hamstring injury during a training session in Mumbai on Sunday. Priyank Panchal, who led India A in the three-match series, has replaced Rohit. The latter recently replaced Virat Kohli as India's white-ball skipper.
The BCCI informed about the development on Monday
NEWS - Priyank Panchal replaces injured Rohit Sharma in India's Test squad.— BCCI (@BCCI) December 13, 2021
Rohit sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session here in Mumbai yesterday. He has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa.#SAvIND | @PKpanchal9 pic.twitter.com/b8VgoN52LW
Why does it matter?
- Rohit has been India's mainstay opening batter in Test cricket for over two years.
- He proved his mettle on the recent tour of the UK.
- Rohit is India's highest run-scorer in Test cricket in 2021.
- He has amassed 906 runs from 11 matches this year at an average of 47.68.
- His absence can hurt India's top-order on the tricky wickets in South Africa.
Rohit suffered the injury while practicing
It is understood that Rohit suffered the hamstring injury during a training session at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai where he has been practicing for the last week. As per reports, Rohit complained of discomfort to the support staff at the practice session.
Rohit didn't arrive at the Mumbai hotel
The Indian team will leave for South Africa on December 16. Reportedly, Rohit hasn't arrived at the Mumbai hotel where the members of Team India are undergoing quarantine. According to the sources, the BCCI has relaxed the bio-security protocols for players who are to traveling with their families. Meanwhile, those staying in Mumbai have been advised home quarantine.
Rohit was named captain of India's ODI and T20I sides
Last week, Rohit took over as captain of India's ODI side from Kohli. Rohit had earlier replaced Kohli as the T20I skipper. The former was also appointed the vice-captain of India's Test side. While Rohit has been ruled out of the SA Test series, it remains to be seen if he features in the ODIs. Rohit recently missed the home Test series against NZ.
Gujarat opener Panchal replaces Rohit
As stated, Panchal has replaced Rohit in the Test squad. The Gujarat opening batter scored 120 runs for India A at an average of 40 (best score of 96). He has featured in 100 First-class matches as of now, having racked up 7,011 runs at 45.52. Panchal has 24 centuries and 25 half-centuries to his name in FC cricket (best score of 314*).
India's squad for South Africa Test series
India's squad for SA Test series: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Priyank Panchal. Standby players: Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
SA vs India: A look at the schedule
The first Test of the three-match series will begin on December 26 (Centurion). Johannesburg (January 3-7) and Cape Town (January 11-15) will host the following two Tests. Thereafter, Paarl will play host to the first two ODIs (January 19 and 21). The series decider will be held in Cape Town on January 23. Notably, the four-match T20I series got postponed.