India suffer Rahane injury blow head of England Test

Mumbai – India suffered a blow on the eve of the fourth Test against England Wednesday when batsman Ajinkya Rahane suffered an injury in training that ruled him out of the series.

India's Ajinkya Rahane takes part in a training session at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium ahead of the fourth Test against England on December 7, 2016 © AFP PUNIT PARANJPE
India’s Ajinkya Rahane takes part in a training session at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium ahead of the fourth Test against England on December 7, 2016 © AFP PUNIT PARANJPE

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said the vice-captain had fractured a finger after being struck by the ball during a practice session at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

“(Rahane) has been ruled out for the remaining two Test matches,” the BCCI said in a late afternoon statement, adding that the 28-year-old had been replaced by right-hander Manish Pandey.

Captain Virat Kohli had announced better news on the injury front earlier in the day when he said Lokesh Rahul had recovered from a hamstring problem and would open the batting alongside Murali Vijay.

But he said it was unlikely that fast bowler Mohammed Shami whose figures of 5-100 fired India to a massive eight-wicket win over England in the third Test would be risked.

“We have got to take a call in the evening in terms of how he’s feeling with his knee,” Kohli told reporters.

“After the Mohali Test I think he felt a bit of soreness in his knee so we need to take a corrective call on that because he has a history of knee surgery.

“We don’t want to push a player to an extent where we lose him for the whole season,” the captain added of Shami, who previously missed 15 months of action following an operation on his knee.

Medium pacer Shardul Thakur is on standby, the BCCI said.

India lead the series 2-0 and can clinch the five-match rubber with a game to spare if they avoid defeat in Mumbai.

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