India opener KL Rahul has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand due to an injury, the BCCI announced on Tuesday (November 23).
The board’s All-India Senior Selection Committee has now added Suryakumar Yadav in the India squad for the first Test in Kanpur as a replacement for Rahul.
As per a BCCI statement, Rahul, 29, has sustained a muscle strain on his left thigh and will now undergo rehabilitation at NCA in order to prepare for the long tour of South Africa that begins next month.
Significantly, Rahul had regained his spot in the Test side recently in England where he had performed well at the top of the order alongside Rohit Sharma.
Even though several senior players were rested for the just concluded T20I series against the Black Caps, Rahul was a part of both the squad. Notably, the players were rested to manage their workload ahead of the upcoming South Africa tour.
Earlier, Rahul was not included in the playing XI of Team India on Sunday for the final T20I against New Zealand at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, which the hosts won by 73 runs to win the series 3-0.
Under Rohit Sharma as its full-time captain, India had earlier won the first two T20Is in Jaipur and Ranchi by five and seven wickets respectively.
Rahul had amassed 80 runs from two innings in the T20I series, which also included a fifty.
On the other hand, Suryakumar, who has been picked as his replacement for the Test series, hasn’t featured in the red-ball format for India.
He had made his debut for the country in the other two formats earlier this year. Suryakumar was also a part of the Test squad in England.
India will already miss the services of opener Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the opening Test in Kanpur. In Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane will leading the home side in the first Test.
Regular skipper Kohli will make a return to lead the side in the second Test, scheduled to be held in Mumbai from December 3.
After the home series against the Kiwis, the Indian team will tour South Africa for three Tests, as many One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and four T20Is.
India squad (Kanpur Test):
Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna