India have incurred another major blow in the buildup to the third Test against England, which will begin on February 15 in Rajkot, as senior batter KL Rahul was on Monday reportedly ruled out of the match after failing to fully recover from his quadriceps strain that forced him to miss the second Test in Visakhapatnam. Following the big news, a BCCI official has questioned the functioning of the board’s medical team, while labelling Rahul’s fitness update video, shared on Sunday, misleading.
Last week, BCCI’s selection committee had named a 17-man squad for the final three Test matches against England. While Shreyas Iyer failed to make the cut, following a string of poor returns with the bat, the big positive for India was the return of Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, although their participation was subject to clearance from the BCCI’s medical team, as mentioned in the press release.
On Sunday, Rahul shared an update on his fitness by sharing a video as an Instagram story of him batting in the nets. The batter looked fluent in his touch as he executed a beautiful cover drive. The video instantly went viral on social media, with fans elated at the progress Rahul made, and it sure did give hope that he would make the playing XI for the game in Rajkot later this week.
However, with Rahul reportedly ruled out of the third Test, serious questions were raised by a senior BCCI official in a conversation with news agency PTI on whether the veteran batter and the BCCI’s medical team are giving a proper picture of the injury status.
“If the BCCI’s medical team knew in first place that Rahul’s quad injury is as serious as it looks, why in the first place was he kept in provisional squad. And why is the player sending wrong signals by posting videos of his batting on Instagram stories,” the senior BCCI official asked.
India are already light in experience in the batting department, with Iyer out and Virat Kohli remaining unavailable for the Test series owing to personal reasons. Rahul’s absence further complicates matters for India, who will now look to rely on the likes of uncapped Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar, who made his debut in Vizag, and out-of-form KS Bharat for middle-order duties.