India’s opening batsman Mayank Agarwal has been ruled out of the first match of the five-match Test series between India and England starting August 4.
The batsman took a hit on the helmet during a training session off a short ball from his teammate, fast bowler Mohammed Siraj. Following this, the player showed signs of concussion after the BCCI medical team assessed him.
Agarwal took the blow to his helmet while he took his eyes off Siraj’s delivery, after which he was seen in discomfort as he removed the helmet and sat on the ground. Physio Nitin Patel attended to him and escorted him while leaving the nets.
“Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was hit on the helmet while batting during India’s nets session at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Monday,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah was quoted as saying in a media release.
“The BCCI Medical Team assessed him, and a concussion test was conducted. He has shown signs of concussion and is ruled out of the opening Test against England. The 30-year-old is stable and will remain under close medical observation,” Shah further stated.
Indian team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also confirmed the news about Agarwal sustaining a head injury.
“Mayank Agarwal got hit on the head. The medical team is looking after him. All others are fit,” Rahane told media persons.
The Indian team is struggling with a number of injured players since the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June. Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, and Avesh Khan have already been ruled out of the series due to their injuries. The BCCI named batsmen Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw as replacement players. However, both the players will not be available until the third Test series owing to the 10 days quarantine period they have to complete after completing their Sri Lanka tour. Both of them were deemed as close contacts of Krunal Pandya, who tested positive for COVID-19 during the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
With Agarwal out, India likely has three options to send in for opening the batting along with Rohit Sharma. They can use KL Rahul, Abhimanyu Easwaran, or Hanuma Vihari, who did the job during the Australia Test earlier this year. A possible candidate for the role, Cheteshwar Pujara, is not being considered as the team is firm on seeing him on the crease at No. 3.
“Pujara is our No.3 batsman. Who’ll open our innings, we are again finalising our combination, it’s not yet finalised. Pujara has been really solid for us as No. 3 batsman and he’ll continue to bat at No. 3. As an opening bat, the captain, coach and management will decide the combination and you’ll get to know soon,” Rahane clarified.
The five-match Test series will start at Trent Bridge from August 4, following which the two sides will move to Lord’s, Headingley, Kennington Oval, and Old Trafford for the remaining four matches.