India wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul is likely to be ruled out of the third Test against England as he still hasn't fully recovered from the quad injury. The BCCI released an official announcement regarding the same and will be replaced by Devdutt Padikkal in the Indian squad. Furthermore, Sarfaraz Khan and Devdutt Padikkal are likely to make their debut in Rajkot.
Rahul had played the first Test in Hyderabad where he scored 86 and 22 runs but he complained of a quad strain after the match which India lost by 28 runs.
He missed the second Test in Vizag but was named in the squad for the remaining three games. The Indian cricket board said Rahul will only play if declared fit by the medical team. The Karnataka-born cricketer also kept wickets during the two-Test series in South Africa.
BCCI's statement on KL Rahul's injury:
The BCCI revealed that KL Rahul has reached 90 per cent of match fitness, hinting that he will be available for the 4th Test. The 30-year-old will continue his recovery process in the NCA in Bengaluru.
"KL Rahul, whose availability for the remaining three Tests was subject to fitness, has been ruled out of the third Test against England in Rajkot. Mr. Rahul has reached 90 per cent of match fitness and is progressing well under the supervision of the BCCI Medical Team.
He will continue his recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to be completely match-fit for the fourth and fifth Test.
The Men’s Selection Committee named Devdutt Padikkal as KL Rahul’s replacement for the third Test, starting February 15, 2024."
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also made a comeback in the Test squad after missing the Vizag match due to a hamstring injury he suffered in the series opener.
Uncapped Sarfaraz Khan and Saurabh Kumar were named in the squad for the second Test along with Washington Sundar but neither got to play in Vizag.
Siraj to return in 2nd Test
Sarfaraz and Sundar retained their places for the rest of the series but Saurabh Kumar was released from the squad and replaced by another uncapped youngster in Akash Deep.
The Indian team is all set to welcome back Mohammed Siraj in their playing XI in the next Test. He had been rested by the team management in the second Test.
India made a resounding comeback in the 2nd Test in Vizag, with Yashasvi Jaiswal's first-innings hundred and Jasprit Bumrah's nine-wicket haul playing an integral role in their 106-run victory.