India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni suffered a muscle spasm in his back during the team’s first training session in Dhaka on Monday, two days ahead of the Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a media statement.
The national selectors have named Parthiv Patel, the former India stumper, as backup wicketkeeper for the tournament. India begin their campaign against Bangladesh in Mirpur on Wednesday.
“India ODI and T20I captain MS Dhoni has suffered a muscle spasm in the back during a training session today in Dhaka,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur said in a statement.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Parthiv Patel as the back-up wicketkeeper for the upcoming Asia Cup, 2016. He will join the team in Dhaka at the earliest.”
Patel has played 20 Tests, 38 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and just two Twenty20 Internationals, last representing India in an ODI against Sri Lanka four years ago at Brisbane.
Dhoni, 34, has a history of back trouble, but he has in the past played despite discomfort.
However, the team management would hope he recovers quickly as the event is the final build-up before former champions India look to regain the World T20 title at home. The World T20 starts on March 8, two days after the Asia Cup final.
Besides his captaincy, Dhoni bats at the crucial No 6 spot. In case, he does not recover for the first game, it would be interesting to see where Patel bats. Despite his mere two games, he has been a successful opening batsman in T20 matches, but will have to bat down the order as the top five slots are unlikely to be disturbed.
Dhoni’s problem is India’s second injury concern with pacer Mohammed Shami pulled out of the Asia Cup as he is yet to full recover from a hamstring injury suffered during training, ahead of last month’s limited-overs series in Australia. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been included in place of Shami, who has not played for India since the 50-over World Cup in March last year.
In the group phase, India face Pakistan on February 27, Sri Lanka on March 1 and a qualifier two days later. The final will be played on March 6. India’s first match in the World T20 is on March 15.