After losing opening batsman Shubman Gill to injury, the Indian Test team in England suffered another blow as opener Mayank Agarwal was ruled out of the first Test after being hit on the head on Monday during practice. The first Test begins at Trent Bridge here on Wednesday.
“Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was hit on the helmet while batting during India’s nets session at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Monday,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement.
“The BCCI Medical Team assessed him, and a concussion test was conducted. He has shown signs of concussion and is ruled out of the opening Test against England. The 30-year-old is stable and will remain under close medical observation,” the Board added in the statement.
India are struggling for opening options as they have already lost opener Shubman Gill to an injury on his lower left leg and his replacement Prithvi Shaw is yet to arrive in England. Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav are being sent as reinforcements after three of the 24 players in the Indian squad were ruled out due to injuries. Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan too are out besides Gill.
India will now struggle to bring in someone to partner Rohit Sharma at the top. KL Rahul, who had opened in the past, is an option.
Team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who spoke to the media on Monday, did not mention the playing XI or who would open but ruled out the possibility of No. 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara being pushed up the batting order.
“Pujara is our No. 3 batsman. We are again finalising our combination. So it has not yet been finalised. Pujara has been really solid as No. 3 batsman so he will continue to bat at No. 3 but for the opening pair, captain, coach and team management will have to decide,” added Rahane who also confirmed that he is fit to play the first Test.
Rahane had mild swelling around his left upper hamstring and could not feature in the warm-up match against County Select XI in Durham last month.
“I had a small niggle but I am fully fit now. And whatever physios and trainers asked me to do, I completed all those stuff in practice sessions. I am looking forward to the Tests. I am completely prepared. Preparation has been really good so far for me. Even I didn’t play the three-day game; I was practicing on the side. We had a good couple of practice sessions. Yes, we are completely ready and fit,” said Rahane further.