India have been handed a major injury blow as all-rounder Vijay Shankar was hit on his right forearm while batting at the nets.
India have been handed a major injury blow as all-rounder Vijay Shankar was hit on his right forearm forcing him to leave India’s training session midway at the Oval on Friday. Shankar walked off the field in pain with a support staff carrying his bat and pads. The extent of the injury is unclear but it could be a huge blow for the Virat Kohli-led Men in Blue as Shankar was seen as a player to take up the widely discussed number four slot at the impending ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
MSK Prasad-led selection panel had picked ‘three-dimensional’ Shankar as the player for number four spot in the team ahead of the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant. Shankar’s seam bowling skills worked as an additional advantage for the 28-year-old as the English conditions were kept in mind while picking the 15-member World Cup squad.
Shankar was seen as a crucial player for the Kohli-led Team India and his all-round ability brings more to the team. Earlier, Shankar had impressed the fans and pundits after winning the 2nd ODI against Australia after bowling a cracker of a final over in Nagpur. The elegant all-rounder successfully defended 11 runs in final over, handing India a crucial victory in the series.
Shankar however had a lackluster Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 wherein he managed to score just 244 runs in 15 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Shankar’s bowling skills were also questioned by the pundits and fans as he didn’t bowl much throughout the course of the tournament and picked up just one wicket. Moreover, Shankar didn’t score a single half-century in the cash-rich league and had the highest score of 40 not-out while scoring his runs at a mere average of 20.33.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder, who has been tipped as probable No 4 in the batting order, was hit on the forearm while attempting to pull a short ball from left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s men would be gearing up to face New Zealand in their first warm up match on Saturday followed by the second against Bangladesh two days later. It remains to be seen if Shankar would be needing scan and if he would be available for Saturday’s warm-up match at the Oval in London.
Earlier in the day, opener Shikhar Dhawan got hit on the helmet facing up to a short bowl that was sent down his way by batting coach Sanjay Bangar. His practice session had to be cut short after this blow as physio Pattrick Farhart attended him. He had also walked off immediately after the blow just as a precautionary measure. The Indian team will start their campaign against South Africa on June 5 and there is still time for both the players to recover even in case it is a minor injury situation.