Four players expected to miss South Africa tour
Injury worries for players such as Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shubman Gill, and Ishant Sharma would likely prevent them from participating in India’s next tour of South Africa, which might be considered a huge development. In the just finished Test series between India and New Zealand, these players were among those who appeared. On the other hand, all four are now likely to remain out for an extended period, with them missing cricket in the days that follow.
For the uninitiated, India is slated to travel South Africa for three Tests and as many One-Day Internationals (ODIs), beginning on December 26. Due to the large number of teenagers who have shown their mettle in Test cricket, the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee would have had difficulty narrowing down the final group. The injuries sustained by these four people, on the other hand, made their task a little simpler and we can surely expect some good live cricket to be played.
According to a report in the Indian Express, Jadeja has suffered a ligament tear as a result of which he would be out for many weeks, while Axar has suffered a stress fracture. Because the tracks in South Africa are not regarded as particularly favourable for spinners, the loss of Axar and Jadeja is not anticipated to significantly impact the Indian squad. Furthermore, the team still boasts players like Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav.
For a few months, Ravindra Jadeja will be out of action
However, Jadeja was absent from the squad for the second Test against New Zealand, with Jayant Yadav filling in as the side’s third specialist spinner, which was notable at the time.
Ravindra Jadeja, an all-rounder, sustained a right forearm injury during the first Test against India in Kanpur. Following a series of scans, it was determined that he had a swelling on his forearm. “He has been advised to take some time off and has been ruled out of the 2nd Test in Mumbai,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had noted in a statement published before of the commencement of the Mumbai Test on Thursday. Due to fitness concerns, Ishant Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were also unable to participate.
Although India would likely not miss Jadeja much during the Test series, the fact that the southpaw suffered a ligament injury is troubling since it is anticipated to take months before the all-rounder can make a recovery. Axar, on the other hand, is projected to be back in match shape within six weeks after his injury.
Speaking of Gill, the opener’s shin ailment, which kept him out of the England trip earlier this year, has reappeared. Ishant Sharma had also been unable to participate in the Mumbai Test owing to a hamstring problem. He may be unable to play in the Test series against South Africa.
Can Team India get the job done on the tour of the Proteas, who look a decent team themselves?
Though the Proteas are undergoing a transition phase as of now, they did fairly well in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. The team finished just behind the eventual winners Australia and England in their group. This was due to the fact that they have a good bowling lineup that can trouble any team on a given day. If they do find the right form, Team India could have to fight hard on their travels if they want to take back something home from this fixture.
It will not at all be an easy thing to do, with some of the players not in the best of form. Though these stars will be looking to redeem themselves, the Indian side can’t underestimate the South African team in their own backyard. It will have to be a good and solid, professional performance in order to get the desired results.
If complacency creeps in, Team India could end up losing a game or two, which may actually hurt their long-term ambitions. This is something that Rahul Dravid and co. will want to avoid, so that they can bear the fruits of a good and positive start on a tour like this one, which has already been surrounded by a bit of Covid controversy.