- Shaw was ruled out of the 1st Test with a lateral ligament injury on his left ankle
- Rahul and Vijay are likely to open for India in the Adelaide Test
- Rohit and Vihari have been named in India’s 12-man squad for the series opener
India suffered a major injury blow ahead of the first Test after opener Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the series opener due to an ankle injury.
But the team management is hopeful of the teenager’s return to the Test side by the third Test in Perth which will take place between December 26-30.
Shaw had to be carried off the field on Day 3 of India’s warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI last week. The Mumbai batsman was taken to the hospital where it was revealed that he had a lateral ligament injury on his left ankle.
“It was heartbreaking to see him go down. But the good thing is he’s recovering quickly. He’s already started walking. Hopefully if we can get him to run a bit by the weekend, that’s really good signs.
“With youth on his side there might just be a case where he might recover quicker. We’ll make a call as and when we get closer to Perth,” India head coach Ravi Shastri told SEN.
Shaw was all set to be included in the playing XI for the first match starting December 6 but now Murali Vijay and KL Rahul will have to open the innings in the teenager’s absence.
India on Wednesday, announced their final XII for the first Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval.
Rohit Sharma found his way back into the side after an excellent season in limited-overs cricket this year while seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was left out as India went with three genuine pacers in Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.
India will have just one genuine spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin while Hanuma Vihari might feature as the part-time spinner in the Test.
Ahead of the first Test, former India pacer Zaheer Khan had backed Umesh Yadav in place of Ishant Sharma for the first Test but captain Kohli decided to go with the experience of Ishant in Australian conditions.
In terms of the batting department, it looked more or less sorted with the only change of plan that the Indian management had had to make was triggered by Shaw’s untimely injury in the warm-up match.
It will be interesting to see if Rohit will be in the playing XI and if he does make it, will he open alongside Murali Vijay or KL Rahul or he will bat at No.6 with Vihari being sacrificed.
Adelaide is expected to be a green pitch that might suit the bowlers of both India and Australia. The Adelaide curator said ahead of the match that he has decided to leave the green top of the pitch that he particularly created to facilities day and night Test.
India’s final XII for first Test vs Australia: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.