Bengaluru : Veteran left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir of Delhi received the nod ahead of Abhinav Mukund of Tamil Nadu to replace the injured right-handed KL Rahul for the remaining two Tests between India and New Zealand, the second of which will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from September 30.
Rahul, who has been in prolific form in all the formats and scored 32 and 38 at a healthy strike rate in Kanpur, suffered a hamstring injury during the first Test and has been ruled out of the Kolkata game. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Tuesday night: “BCCI medical team has confirmed that team India opener, KL Rahul has an injury in his right hamstring and he is ruled out for the remainder of the Paytm Test series against New Zealand. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Gautam Gambhir as Rahul’s replacement for the next two Test matches.”
As regards the lanky pacer Sharma, BCCI said: “Medium pacer Ishant Sharma is recovering and won’t be available for the second Test of the series to played in Kolkata. BCCI medical Team will continue to monitor his progress. Off spinner Jayant Yadav will replace Ishant for the second Test.”
An off-spinner replacing a pacer, especially when the team is packed with three frontline spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra defies logic.
Either Mukund or Gambhir, based on their fitness test reports, were to join the Indian team in Kolkata. Gambhir was at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to undergo fitness tests and left the city on Tuesday morning.