Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, who injured his thumb in the second ODI, has been ruled out of the final ODI against Bangladesh and will fly to Mumbai to consult an expert, ahead of the Test series, head coach Rahul Dravid said on Wednesday.
The skipper copped an injury to his finger in the second over of Bangladesh’s batting innings while attempting a catch. The ball hit his thumb and he was seen bleeding as he walked off. He didn’t come out to open the innings as well, with Virat Kohli replacing him as Shikhar Dhawan’s partner at the top.
The BCCI later confirmed that the skipper had gone for scans after the medical team assessed him.
However, with India in dire straits in the run chase, the 35-year-old walked out to bat at No.9, slamming an unbeaten 51 off just 28 balls to take India to the brink off a win. He hit a six with 12 runs needed off two balls, but could only manage a single off the final ball as Bangladesh wrapped up a series victory with the five-run win.
Rohit’s departure to India for medical consultation has put in doubt his participation in the two Test matches.
“Rohit will certainly miss the next game, fly back to Bombay, consult with an expert and see how it is and whether he can come back for the Test matches or not. I’m not sure. It’s too soon to say that (he’ll be fit for the Tests or not),” Dravid said in the post-match press conference.
Dravid also praised Rohit for showing courage and coming out to bat despite having injury.
“I think for him to show that level of courage, he had a serious dislocation, he had to go to hospital to get that set right, stitches in his hand, a couple of injections to go out and bat,” he said,
“Credit to him, he was really determined to go out and have a go and take a chance and it’s amazing how close he got us with that innings, it was an absolutely phenomenal innings by the skipper. Great courage to be able to go out there and give us a chance. Unfortunately, in the end we couldn’t get over the line,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deepak Chahar, who only bowled three overs in the second ODI in Dhaka, was also ruled out of the final ODI as was Kuldeep Sen, who missed the match on Wednesday.
“All three of them won’t play the next game for sure,” Dravid said.
Despite back-to-back series defeats, the head coach brushed aside concerns surrounding India’s form in ODI cricket and hoped to have a full-strength side in the upcoming series.
“It’s a really exciting format. As you saw in these games it’s a terrific format to play. When there’s a lot of cricket, you have to prioritise certain formats. For the last couple of years we’ve certainly prioritized the T20 format with two World Cups so a lot of our boys haven’t played a lot of one-day cricket. Over the next 8-9 months we will be prioritizing one-day cricket a lot and hopefully we will get our full squad to be able to play from the home series in January,” he said.
“It’s not easy juggling between the three formats but that’s the way it is, that’s the way we plan. We knew that we’d not be able to play our full squads either in NZ or here because of how tight they were and close they were, especially after coming back from a really hectic 3-4 months of cricket.
But hopefully now the white-ball boys will get a little bit of a break while the Test players play the Test matches and we’re hoping that once we get to India, we have nine matches in India before the IPL, so god willing we don’t have too many injuries and we can play a settled squad in those nine games,” he added.
Talking about the positives, Dravid highlighted the performance of Washington Sundar, Shreyas, Umran Malik and others.
“Again he (Washington) is someone who has had a lot of injuries last year. It’s really nice to see the way he’s coming back, he’s bowled well in both the games and he batted well in New Zealand as well. Here because we wanted to lengthen our batting a little bit and keep that left-right combination going, we promoted Washington. We think that he’s a very capable batsman and he can bat really well,” he said.
“I think even in this series just to see the way Umran came in and bowled today (was pleasing). Unfortunately for Kuldeep, he played one game and got injured. He’s someone really exciting. There’s some good positives in spite of losing the series, two close games in 2-0, we had our opportunities but there’s some positives we can take from this series as well.
“Rahul’s batting in the last game, Shreyas’ batting in this game, some of the bowling… I thought Siraj was exceptional in the last game. Shardul has bowled particularly well in both the games and Washington as well, Axar’s batting today. So there have been bits and pieces there we can take heart from. Of course we’re disappointed with the result but there are some positives as we build into the next World Cup and there are a lot of matches to go. So nothing to be disheartened about, things to learn from and hopefully move forward,” he concluded.