India’s new Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of three-match Test series against South Africa. The 34-year-old was recently elevated to the position and looked all set to play the series opener in Centurion. However, in an unfortunate turn of events, he has injured himself while practising at Bandra Kurla Complex. Priyank Panchal, Gujarat batter, will be his cover.
There is no confirmation if he will be playing the ODI series as the nature of the injury is said to be serious. He was practicing in Mumbai for last one week to gear up for the three-match series. News agency PTI reported that he was hit on his hand. He suffered a hit on his hand during a net session in Mumbai and the BCCI has summoned India A captain Priyank Panchal as cover for him ahead of the tour of South Africa this month. As of now, the extent of Rohit’s injury is not very clear after he sustained a hit while taking throw-downs from team’s specialist Raghavendra aka Raghu.
Meanwhile a BCCI official informed that Panchal, who scored 96 in.an A Test match against South Africa A, has been called as cover. Panchal had been a part of India’s extended squad that played against England in four Tests at home in February and March.
The 31-year-old, who captains Gujarat in domestic cricket, was in the squad as a reserve opener alongside Abhimanyu Easwaran for the home Tests against England, which India won 3-1. In 100 FC matches, Panchal has scored 7011 runs at a healthy average of 45.52, including 24 centuries and 25 half-centuries with an unbeaten 314 as his highest score.
The three-match Test series between India and South Africa begins from December 26 to 30 at SuperSport Park in Centurion, followed by the second Test at Wanderers in Johannesburg from January 3 to 7 and the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town from January 11 to 15.
India’s Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Priyank Panchal, Shreyas lyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj.