A day after fast bowler Avesh Khan was reportedly ruled out of the England Test series which begins August 4, the Indian contingent in the UK, has lost another player to injury as all-rounder Washington Sundar has apparently suffered a finger injury as well.
Both Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar were playing for the County Select XI against the Indians in the ongoing three-day warmup match in Durham’s Chester-Le-Street ground.
Avesh Khan had been hit on his left thumb while bowling to Hanuma Vihari on day one and it was later reported that he had suffered a fracture to his appendage and an update on his involvement further on the tour will be given later.
Now as per Times of India reports, all-rounder Washington Sundar has also suffered a finger injury, the details of which are yet to be ascertained, and has been ruled out of the upcoming five-Test series in England.
He becomes the third player to be ruled out injured as Shubman Gill returned home after suffering a stress fracture to his shin.
TOI understands that the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spoke to the BCCI about their inability to put in place a squad of 11 players, following which the Indian board agreed to the arrangement of two India players playing for the combined county team.
Now it remains to be seen whether the BCCI selectors opt for replacement players for Sundar and Avesh Khan. They had previously refused to send a replacement opener for Shubman Gill despite requests from Indian team management.
However, they might need to reconsider this after reportedly losing Sundar, a terrific all-rounder with some serious batting chops which he displayed with half-centuries in Australia and against England at home.
The 24-member squad set to England is now down to 21 and those tracking developments say, "with Covid numbers rising, who knows what's in store?"
Should any member of the team test positive - regardless of whether he turns out to be asymptomatic or otherwise - the player and those he came in contact with will have to be quarantined as it happened in the case of wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.
"He (Pant) was asymptomatic and absolutely fine. But the protocols are very clear. So, what happens if a scenario like England (players testing positive during series against Sri Lanka) repeats itself in the Team India camp? Where does the team get replacements from?” the source asked.
Given the quarantine rules in the UK, the BCCI needs to make a decision quickly and if they do decide to send in replacements ahead of the Test series, it will eventually have an effect on the squad that's playing the white-ball series in Sri Lanka at the moment.
(Times of India inputs)