Mumbai: Senior opener KL Rahul missed the plane to England, where India has to play the “fifth” Test against England in Birmingham next month, which was not played in 2021 due to the outbreak of deadly COVID in the Indian camp. Rahul’s groin injury ruled him out of the ongoing five-match T20I series against the touring Proteas.
Rahul is not fully fit and the Test squad boarded a flight to London from Mumbai to start the proceedings of India’s tour to England.
Rahul will not be part of the team. It seems he needs more time to become fully fit. However, he may appear in a fitness test during the weekend. In fact, his recovery chances are looking bleak.
Captain Rohit Sharma, star batter Virat Kohli, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, No.3 specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, and opener Shubman Gill returned to the national side for the longest format of the game to be played in Birmingham.
Off-spinner R Ashwin, allrounder Ravindra Jadeja, pacers Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna, allrounder Hanuma Vihari, and wicketkeeper KS Bharat were the other Indian players who caught the flight to London and are ready to challenge the in-form English side.
Meanwhile, head coach Rahul Dravid is set to join the Indian team in England after the end of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa on Sunday.
Currently, England have been playing unbelievable cricket. Winning both the Tests against the touring Blackcaps In the second Test, the hosts chased down 299 runs in just 50 overs against the strong Kiwi attack. Jonny Bairstow scored 136 runs in just 92 deliveries.
It is a single-Test affair, so BCCI bosses are not considering any replacement for Rahul. The option is available in the name of Shubman Gill. Veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara can also open the innings.
Two Indian teams will be seen in action during the upcoming UK tour. The T20I squad will take on Ireland in two T20Is to be held on June 26 and 28, captained by Hardik Pandya. At the same time, the T20I team will play against Ireland in Dublin. During that period, the Test squad will be busy in their four-day practise match against Leicestershire at Grace Road in Leicester.