India batter doubtful for final Test against England in Dharamsala

The batter's unavailability will force India to field another inexperienced batting lineup in the fifth Test.

India team picture in Ind vs Eng Test series?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Despite missing key players, India have found a way to get past England.

India have suffered another injury blow in the ongoing Test series against England. In the latest development, KL Rahul, who did not play since the first Test, is likely to be unavailable for the final Test in Dharamsala. If this happens, India will be forced to field another inexperienced batting lineup.

According to a report in The Times of India, Rahul has travelled to the UK to get a clear picture of his ongoing injury. He is suffering from quadriceps injury, which has been troubling him for some time now. Rahul had a surgery last year and made his comeback into the team before the Asia Cup.

The 31-year-old kept wickets in the Asia Cup, World Cup, and the Test series in South Africa, which put excessive workload on his body.

“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," a BCCI source said to TOI.

"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 in England. Eventually, the doctor asked him to travel to England so that he could personally check what’s wrong with Rahul,” the source added.

KL Rahul doubtful for fifth Test against England

Rahul’s injury has left the BCCI’s medical team perplexed. The Board is expected to get further clarity on Rahul’s fitness by March 2. Rajat Patidar was expected to leave the India squad and play in Ranji Trophy semi-finals for Madhya Pradesh. But since there are doubts over Rahul’s availability now, Patidar may be expected to remain with the squad.

“Ideally, the team management would want to see Patidar go back to play the Ranji 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 said.

Rajat Patidar has had a tough start to his Test career so far. He has scored just 63 runs in six innings. On the other hand, Sarfaraz Khan, another debutant in this series, is likely to get another go at Dharamsala following his two fifties in Rajkot Test.

Devdutt Padikkal is another batter who is waiting on the bench. Looking at Patidar’s poor form, Padikkal could make his Test debut at Dharamsala. The fifth Test against England will start on March 7.