India has suffered a massive blow as experienced batter KL Rahul has been ruled out of the third Test against England, which begins on Thursday, February 15, in Rajkot.
After playing in the first Test in Hyderabad, Rahul experienced right quadriceps pain and had to miss the second Test in Vizag. While announcing the team for the last three Tests of the five-match series on Saturday, February 10, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stated that “the participation of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team”.
According to The Indian Express, while the Karnataka batter was not found to be fully fit by the BCCI medical team, Jadeja has recovered and is in line to make a comeback in the Rajkot Test. Meanwhile, Rahul’s fitness is going to be monitored and the medical team could decide on his return after one more week.
Rahul is still at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. He hasn’t arrived in Rajkot with the Indian contingent and the team management is hopeful of getting his services in the fourth Test.
Devdutt Padikkal named as KL Rahul’s replacement
Fellow Karnataka batter Devdutt Padikkal has been named as Rahul’s replacement in the third Test. The southpaw has been in scintillating form in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024 and the national team call-up is a reward for his performance.
In his latest Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu, Paddikal scored 151, with the chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar watching from the stands.
The talented youngster has amassed 556 runs from six innings in the ongoing edition of India’s premier domestic red-ball tournament. He has a staggering average of 92.67. Padikkal also registered centuries against Punjab and Goa. He also scored 105, 65 & 21 in his three innings for India A in the two unofficial Tests against England Lions.
The Test series is intriguingly poised at 1-1, with three games left to play. The third Test is going to be very crucial as no team would want to fall behind at this juncture.