India’s stand-in skipper KL Rahul on Wednesday suffered a blow to his hand while batting in the practice session on the eve of second and final Test against Bangladesh but batting coach Vikram Rathour is optimistic that the right-handed opener will be fine to play the match starting from Thursday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
India won the first Test against Bangladesh by 188 runs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram last week and are now aiming for a 2-0 series sweep. The visitors’ are touring Bangladesh without regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who is unavailable due to an injured left thumb.
“It doesn’t (look serious). He seems to be fine. Hopefully he’ll be okay. The doctors are looking at it, but hopefully he’ll be okay,” said Rathour in the pre-match press conference.
If Rahul misses the second Test match, then vice-captain and top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the side. Rahul’s hand injury could also mean a Test debut for uncapped Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, who was added to the squad post Rohit’s injury.
Abhimanyu made scores of 141 and 157 in his two innings for India ‘A’ on their tour of Bangladesh ‘A’. His 157 was crucial in India ‘A’ side winning in Sylhet by an innings and 123 runs. He was earlier a member of India’s Test squad on their tour of England last year.
Rahul’s injury is the latest addition to India’s long list of injuries in 2022. Fast-bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami along with left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja are among the several frontline players, including Rohit and pacer Navdeep Saini, to be ruled out of the series due to injuries.