The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Monday, announced a plethora of changes in the Indian squad for the second Test against England after Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul were both ruled out due to injuries. The duo’s exclusion paved the way for the board to hand Sarfaraz Khan his maiden call-up to India’s Test squad while Washington Sundar and Sourabh Kumar were also named in the roster. Sarfaraz, who has been a consistent scorer in domestic cricket, has been waiting for this day, and when the BCCI gave him his maiden call-up, social media welcomed the decision with both hands.
India and Mumbai batter Suryakumar Yadav was one of the first cricketers to extend greetings to Sarfaraz on the call-up. But, greetings came from across the border as well, with Pakistan opening batter Imam-ul-Haq also congratulating the Indian cricketer for his Test call-up.
“Congratulations brother So Happy for you,” Imam-ul-Haq wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
As for the injuries, Jadeja sustained a hamstring problem while going for a quick single on Sunday while Rahul complained of pain in his right quadriceps.
Worryingly, Rahul had also injured his right thigh while fielding in the IPL in May last year and that required a surgery, keeping him out of the game for four months. “Mr Ravindra Jadeja and Mr KL Rahul have been ruled out of the second IDFC First Bank Test against England in Vizag, starting February 02, 2024,” the BCCI said in a media release.
“The BCCI Medical Team is monitoring the progress of the duo,” it added.
With Virat Kohli already unavailable for the first two Tests due to personal reasons, the injuries to Jadeja and Rahul have made matters worse for India, who find themselves under pressure after losing only their fourth Test at home since 2013.
Both Rahul and Jadeja had made significant contributions in the first Test before England staged a remarkable comeback to win the game by 28 runs and go 1-0 up in the five-match series. Jadeja snapped up five wickets and made 87 in the first innings while Rahul scored 86.
Jadeja’s all-round abilities are invaluable to the team. Off-spinner Sundar, who has shown a lot of promise in his four-Test old career, could replace Jadeja in the playing eleven. Ever since making his comeback from injury in the Asia Cup in September, Rahul has displayed stellar form in the ODI and Test format. Keeping wickets in the ODI World Cup and more recently in the Test series in South Africa added to his workload. Though Sarfaraz has got a well-deserved call-up, the chances of Rajat Patidar, who was already part of the 15, making his debut in Vizag are higher.