What’s the story?
Ahead of the eagerly anticipated Test series against Australia, India have been handed a severe blow. After sustaining a major ankle injury during the practice match, promising opener Prithvi Shaw has been ruled out of the first Test at Adelaide.
During the third day of India’s warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Shaw twisted his left ankle while attempting a catch along the boundary. As he winced in pain, the medical staff carried him off the field.
A BCCI statement confirmed, “Shaw underwent scans this morning and the reports revealed a lateral ligament injury. Shaw will be unavailable for the First Test against Australia in Adelaide. He will undergo an intensive rehabilitation program to hasten the recovery.”
Just two Tests into his career, Shaw has already established himself as one of India’s first-choice openers. With Murali Vijay and KL Rahul battling for the second opener’s slot, the 19-year old is expected to be a vital cog in the lineup.
The ongoing four-day match against Cricket Australia XI is India’s solitary warm-up match prior to the four-match Test series. Opening the batting, Shaw blazed a 69-ball 66 before being bowled around his legs by wrist-spinner Daniel Fallins during the second day’s play on Thursday.
The heart of the matter
During the opening session of the third day’s play at the SCG on Friday, Cricket Australia XI opener Max Bryant unleashed a lofted shot. Stationed at the deep mid-wicket boundary, Shaw initially seemed to have taken the catch. But he rolled his left ankle while landing and fell over the rope.
UPDATE – Prithvi Shaw ruled out of First Test against Australia in Adelaide. https://t.co/bOB8e6Ijrv
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 30, 2018
Unable to move, Shaw looked in discernible pain. Indian team physio Patrick Farhart rushed to the boundary to attend to the young cricketer. Considering that is was not advisable to apply further pressure on the injured leg, he was carried off the field. Indian skipper Virat Kohli was understandably concerned and left the field to check on the opener’s injury for a short while.
Soon thereafter, a motorised stretcher was used to carry Shaw off the venue. BCCI tweeted that he was taken to a local hospital for further assessment. Later, he returned to the SCG on crutches with a moon boot.
With the hospital scans revealing a lateral ligament injury, Shaw was sidelined from the first Test of the series.
Shaw’s injury will see Murali Vijay and KL Rahul open the batting for India when the first Test against Australia begins at the Adelaide Oval on December 6.
At the moment, the team management have not called up another opener as cover for the injured Shaw. Everything depends on the extent of the injury and the youngster’s rehabilitation in the coming days. If the support staff express their need for another opening option, then Mayank Agarwal is likely to be the front-runner.