India Tour of England: Injured Shubman Gill doubtful for entire Test series, Easwaran will be added to the main squad

India Tour of England: Was Shubman Gill and team management hiding his injury before WTC Final? Saba Karim prefers Mayank Agarwal as opener

India Tour of England – Shubman Gill Injured: In what comes as a big blow for Virat Kohli’s Team India, opener Shubman Gill has suffered an internal leg injury and is doubtful for the entire 5 match test series starting from August 4. Abhimanyu Easwaran who is currently with the squad as a back-up opener is all set to be included in the main squad. BCCI will soon be making official announcement in this regard.

Also Read: India Tour of England: VVS Laxman warns of Shubman Gill’s weakness, says ‘needs to address it before England series’

India Tour of England – How serious is Shubman Gill’s injury?

India opener batsman Shubman Gill has sustained a serious shin injury which could keep him out of action for at least two months, a BCCI source told PTI on Thursday. It is all but certain that Gill is unlikely to feature in the upcoming five-Test series against England starting in Nottingham from August 4.

“Shubman has sustained a shin stress fracture, which will keep him out of action for minimum two months, which effectively rules him out of the first three Tests against England in August,” the source said on conditions of anonymity.
“It will be a race against time to get him fit for the final two Test matches in September after completing rehabilitation,” he added.

It is understood that the shin injury got aggravated during the recently-concluded World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton which India lost by 8 wickets.

“Stress fractures in shin are not very threatening but time consuming in terms of rest and rehabilitation,” a former India pacer told PTI.

“If it would have been a shin fracture, then it could have taken more than three months but shin stress fracture injury normally takes anything between 8 to 10 weeks to heal.
“If Gill’s replacement, whether it’s Mayank (Agarwal) or (KL) Rahul, does well, he might have to sit out and I believe the team management also won’t show a lot of desperation in getting him fit for say, the fifth Test,” the bowler said.

Bengal’s Abhimanyu Easwaran is one of the openers on stand-by.

It is understood that physio Nitin Patel and strength and conditioning coach Soham Desai will be monitoring Gill’s progress in the UK.
However, it is not clear if after being formally ruled out of the tour, he will stay back or return home for his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy.

The Indian team is currently on a break and will regroup in mid July for the England series.

It is believed that the Punjab batsman has either sustained a calf muscle injury or hamstring tear which could take considerable time to heal. It is not clear how and when he picked up the injury. According to the information available, Gill injured himself while fielding during the World Test Championship Finals – but their is no official announcement in this regard.

“There is a chance that Shubman could be ruled out of the whole Test tour even though it is still a month away. The injury is serious as we have come to know,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

India Tour of England – Who can take Shubman Gill’s place in the playing XI for 1st test?

Gill did not have a great outing in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand as he recorded scores of just 28 and 8. He got off to a good start in the first innings but failed to convert it into a big score and disappointed in the second innings.

After the stunning debut in the Australia series, Gill has faced a lean patch with the bat and the big scores eluded him even in the four-match Test series against England earlier this year.

His place in the squad though will go to Abhimanyu Easwaran but the big question remains who will take his place in playing XI – will it be Mayank Agarwal or KL Rahul ?

The Team India Management is hopeful that he will be available for some of the matches in the Test series. For the time being, Shubman Gill remains with Virat Kohli & Co. BCCI is planning to consult with doctors in England for Gill who will decide whether the injury needs surgery?

As of now, he is supposed to be in England where physio Nitin Patel and strength and conditioning coach Sohum Desai will monitor his progress.

India Tour of England: While it is bad news for Virat Kohli-led Team India, they have enough options available on the bench. Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul were not included in the WTC Final squad and they would be the options to look at. KL Rahul has recovered from his appendicitis surgery while Mayank Agarwal has shown good touch in the IPL.

Also Read: India tour of England: Sunil Gavaskar declares, ‘Anderson & Broad won’t be lethal on dry England pitches’

Currently, on a break, Virat Kohli & Co will rejoin Team India’s bio-bubble in Durham in a couple of weeks’ time. They will play two intra-squad matches before the 1st Test on August 4. The BCCI is also hoping to arrange a warm-up match for the team but one is unlikely due to the ongoing T20 Blast and later The Hundred.

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(with ANI inputs)