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India will be without yet another important player as KL Rahul will miss the crucial third Test against England.
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India will be without yet another important player as KL Rahul will miss the crucial third Test against England.

India continues to face setbacks in their series against England as KL Rahul, who was absent in the second Test due to a quadriceps injury, was unable to demonstrate his readiness for the third match that begins on Thursday in Rajkot.

Rahul was anticipated to return to his position as India’s number four batsman after Shreyas Iyer was removed by the selectors. With eight centuries in 50 games, he also would have provided valuable experience with Virat Kohli absent for the entire series due to personal reasons.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has stated that Rahul’s injury will need to be monitored for another week by their medical team before the fourth Test in Ranchi, which is scheduled to begin on February 23. With the series tied at 1-1, the home team will need to find a replacement for their batting lineup.

The upcoming player, Sarfaraz Khan, has a strong record despite not yet playing at the Test level. He has an average of 69.85 in first-class cricket, making him the fourth-highest among players with at least 50 innings. Only Don Bradman (95.14), Vijay Merchant (71.64), and George Headley (69.86) have higher averages in history.

The 26-year-old player, who replaced a fielder in India’s victory in the second Test, recently achieved scores of 161, 55, and 96 against England Lions. However, with Rajat Patidar also making his Test debut at No 5 last week and scoring 32 and nine, India’s middle order is now inexperienced like the English spin attack they will face.

A possible choice could have been to select Cheteshwar Pujara for his home game in Rajkot, especially considering the 36-year-old with 103 Test caps recently scored his 62nd century in the Ranji Trophy.

However, despite Pujara’s presence in last year’s loss to Australia in the World Test Championship final, India’s selectors seem determined to introduce the younger players, as evidenced by the addition of the inexperienced Devdutt Padikkal to the team.

One good thing came out of India’s training on Monday – Ravindra Jadeja was able to complete the session without any injuries. The all-rounder had previously missed the second Test due to a hamstring injury, but is determined to make a comeback on his home ground.

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After spending six days in Abu Dhabi, England has returned but unfortunately, their experienced spin bowler Jack Leach will not be able to participate in the series due to a knee injury.

Source: theguardian.com