KL Rahul’s race to be fit for World Test Championship final takes further blow

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Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: Cricketer K L Rahul’s bid to make the World Test Championship final has taken another blow with the wicketkeeper-batter’s leg injury forcing him out of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Rahul pulled up in the field in Lucknow Super Giants’ match with Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 1, quickly clutching at his thigh and then limping from the field. The wicketkeeper-batter has since left the IPL camp and travelled to Mumbai for scans under the eye of the national setup, according to Cricbuzz.

The scans will likely determine Rahul’s hopes of participating in the World Test Championship final at The Oval beginning on June 7. Rahul has been in fine form in the IPL with 274 runs at an average of 34.25, while his experience in England conditions when opening for India includes two Test tons.

It’s not the only fresh injury concern curtailing India’s preparation, with Jaydev Unadkat ruled out of the IPL after a freak training accident, also on Lucknow Super Giants duty. Unadkat tripped on a wire in his follow through during a net session, falling on his left shoulder. The 31-year-old left the session heavily strapped, though his prognosis is more positive and he is tipped to be in consideration for the WTC decider.

The left-armer is one of five bowlers named in the squad to take on Australia, while Jasprit Bumrah (back) was out of consideration after undergoing surgery in New Zealand earlier in the year.

Rahul’s injury adds to injury woes on the batting side and could force a change of philosophy for India in the WTC final.

Already missing Shreyas Iyer and first-choice wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane would be well-placed to make his first Test appearance in over a year should Rahul not be fit to take part, with Shubman Gill expected to join skipper Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli are set to line up at No. 3 and No. 4, with Rahane an option to slide in at No. 5.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat. (ANI)

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