India vs England: Injured Ajinkya Rahane jinxes Mumbai Test history
Avulsion fracture on his right index finger rules out the Mumbai middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane who would have made his Wankhede Test debut today against England
A photographic sequence on how India's Rahane fractured his finger batting in the nets at the Wankhede yesterday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will have to wait for another series to play his first Test in front of his home crowd.
The 28-year-old batsman, who got injured while trying to defend a delivery which bounced sharply and hit his gloves during yesterday's morning practice, will have to watch his side battle it out at the Wankhede Stadium in the fourth Test against England today. Rahane was immediately rushed to Bombay Hospital for treatment and an MRI revealed a fracture on his index finger. "Manish Pandey has been included in the team as replacement for Rahane," said BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke in a media release.
This is for the first time that not a single Mumbai batsman will feature in the Indian Test XI for a match in the city. The Mohammad Azharuddin-led Indian team which beat Graham Gooch's England side by an innings and 15 runs in the 1992-93 series at the same venue included three Mumbai batsmen — Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli and Pravin Amre.
"He was already in the squad for the Mumbai Test. It's unfortunate that he got injured, otherwise he would have played at the Wankhede," Rahane's coach Amre told mid-day yesterday.
Mumbai's Ranji coach Chandrakant Pandit felt the Indian team will lose a huge advantage with Rahane's absence. "Ajinkya playing at the Wankhede Stadium is a big advantage for the Indian team because he knows the ground conditions and the wicket very well. But some things are beyond our control and he has to wait to play a Test on his home ground," said Pandit over the phone from Rajkot.
"We had only one Mumbai player in the Indian team and he too has to sit out of the team because of injury. It's really unfortunate and may be it's his fate. He has always performed well at home and I was confident he would play well, but hard luck to him," Pandit added.
Shami doubtful to start
Pacer Mohammad Shami, who is nursing a sore knee, is also doubtful for the Mumbai Test. Mumbai medium pacer Shardul Thakur has been called as back-up for Shami. Thakur claimed two wickets against Punjab in their Group 'A' Ranji Trophy match in Rajkot yesterday. "The good thing is that our pacer Shardul has been included in the team.
Today, he bowled with beautiful rhythm and claimed two wickets on a batting-friendly track. I spoke to him before he left for Mumbai and advised him to bowl with the same rhythm if he got an opportunity to play tomorrow. He has bowled several match-winning spells on this very ground and I am sure he will bowl well," said Pandit.
Rahane being ruled out of today's Test means India will be without a local batsman in a city Test for the first time. Here's some local representation at Mumbai Tests.
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