KL Rahul unlikely to play the fifth Test vs England

In a predicament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) faces uncertainty over KL Rahul’s fitness ahead of the fifth Test against England in Dharamshala, set to commence on March 7. Rahul has been sidelined since the initial Hyderabad Test due to injury. Rahul sought clarity by traveling to the United Kingdom for assessment, leaving the team management waiting for his report to finalize selections.

With limited options, India eyes Rajat Patidar, despite his recent struggles, as a potential middle-order inclusion. The situation amplifies India’s selection conundrum as they strive to bolster their lineup for the crucial final encounter against England, navigating through the uncertainties of player fitness. With the series already secured by India before the final Test, the team aims to leverage the home advantage in their World Test Championship campaign.

“The medical team thought Rahul was good to go for the last three Tests. But he complained of discomfort. He is a bit concerned about it. He has endured a heavy workload while keeping wickets in the World Cup and the Test series in South Africa. Multiple scans have been done on his quads. While there is nothing very concerning, some inflammation has been noted. The reports were sent to the doctor who treated him from England. Eventually, the doctor asked him to travel to England so that he could personally check what’s wrong with Rahul,” a BCCI source revealed as quoted by Times of India.

Rahul’s injury woes continue to plague the team

Despite his continuing uncertainty following last year’s IPL injury and subsequent surgery, the team management is perplexed as scans uncover no identifiable issue with Rahul’s quadriceps. With a significant gap between the fourth and fifth Tests, the management would aim to resolve the matter by March 2, seeking clarity on Rahul’s fitness status. The situation highlights the challenges of managing player injuries amidst juxtaposed scheduling while accentuating the importance of timely resolution for the team’s sake.

“Ideally, the team management would want to see Patidar go back to play the Ranji Trophy semi-final and find some form. But that depends on Rahul’s availability. If Rahul is unavailable, then he may be asked to stay back with the team. Even if Devdutt Padikkal makes his debut in the last Test, the team management needs an extra batter in the team as a concussion substitute,” the source added.