The Indian cricket team suffered a huge blow after in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan was on Monday ruled out of the remainder of the three-Test series against Sri Lanka due to a hairline fracture in his right hand.
India, who lost the first Test by 63 runs against the Lankans, will play the second Test at Colombo's P Sara Oval starting from Thursday. "The BCCI medical team has confirmed that opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the remaining part of India's tour of Sri Lanka - 2015. Dhawan had injured his right hand during the first Test at Galle. He underwent further tests that confirmed a hairline fracture in his hand. He would require four to six weeks to recover from the injury," a BCCI media release said.
Dhawan took to Twitter to express his disappointment at being ruled out of the series.
Sad to leave my teammates in the middle of the series, but still did my best even with a broken hand. Will bounce back stronger! Rab Rakha— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) August 17, 2015
Dhawan, who scored a century in the first innings, batted with a swollen knuckle after he dropped a catch standing at the first slip. The batsman was Kaushal Silva and bowler was Varun Aaron. In fact, the injury was the reason that Dhawan could not play his natural game on the fourth morning as he was stuck on his overnight score for 36 balls, not being able to pack a punch in his drives.
Team India have some serious injury issues to deal with at the moment as its other opener Murali Vijay is also recuperating from a hamstring injury. While the team management have stated that Vijay is getting better under observation of physio Patrick Farhart, a final call on his fitness will be taken only a day before the second Test starts.
The only specialist opener that India have at the moment is KL Rahul while Cheteshwar Pujara has also had the experience of opening for India in a few Test matches. Pujara recently opened with Rahul for India A against Australia A in Chennai. While Stuart Binny was named as the 16th member of the squad on Sunday yesterday, the injury to Dhawan means that the squad size is now back to 15.
The team management is yet to announce the name of a replacement for Dhawan. The two selectors who are travelling with the team are Vikram Rathour and Saba Karim.