Injured India captain Rohit Sharma won’t be playing the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka starting on Thursday. Sharma injured his left thumb while fielding during the second One-Day International on the trip earlier this month and returned home to consult a specialist in Mumbai. He missed the first Test with KL Rahul taking over as stand-in captain, and it was confirmed on Monday that Sharma would miss the second Test as well.
Sharma has had training sessions at the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA)-BKC (Bandra-Kurla Complex) for the past few days, but sources said that he was finding it difficult to hold a bat. The Indian board will wait for a few more days before they pick the team for the home white-ball series against Sri Lanka, scheduled to start on January 3, but if Sharma doesn’t recover in time, he might have to miss the three T20Is against the visitors. The neighbours from across the Palk Strait will also play three ODIs on their tour.
“He (Sharma) was finding it tough to hold his bat properly and couldn’t play shots either. So it was decided not to send him to Bangladesh. The board will wait for a few more weeks to see whether the injury improves and whether he can make it for the Sri Lanka home series,” a BCCI official said.
The BCCI selection committee has already named Abhimanyu Easwaran as Sharma’s replacement and he will be asked to remain with the team.
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The Indian board, earlier in a press release, had informed that the team management in Bangladesh had advised Sharma to return home so he could consult specialists in Mumbai. Despite his injury, Sharma had nearly pulled off the second ODI against Bangladesh when he came to bat at number nine and scored an unbeaten 51 off 28 balls with three fours and five sixes. He needed a six off the final ball of the match to seal victory, but failed to hit left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman out of the ground.
Reflecting on his injury, Sharma had said after the game, “It (thumb injury) isn’t too great. Some dislocation and some stitches. Fortunately, not a fracture and so, I was able to bat.”
Sharma has been blighted by poor fitness a lot since becoming India’s all-format captain, and that is one of the reasons for the board thinking on the lines of different captains for various formats.
The Indian team won the first Test against Bangladesh by 188 runs and Sharma’s injury means that Shubhman Gill, who scored his maiden Test century at Chattogram, will retain his place at the top of the batting order.