Rohit Sharma ruled out of South Africa Tests with injured hamstring, BCCI names 31-year-old batter as his replacement
- In a big blow to the Indian cricket team, star batter Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the three-Test series against South Africa starting December 26.
In a big blow to the Indian cricket team, star batter Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the three-Test series against South Africa starting later this month, with BCCI naming India A veteran Priyank Panchal as his replacement.
Rohit, who was appointed the new vice-captain of the Test team, has suffered a hamstring injury while practicing at Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex and will miss all three Tests, commencing December 26 in Centurion. This will be the second successive Test series which Rohit will miss, after being rested for the recently-concluded two-Test series against New Zealand at home. It remains to be seen though, whether the vice-captain will fall back on Ajinkya Rahane.
"Team India Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session here in Mumbai yesterday. He has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa. Priyank Panchal will replace Rohit Sharma in the Test squad," the BCCI tweeted.
India will miss the services of Rohit, who, since opening in Tests, has scored, 1462 runs from 14 matches at an impressive average of 58.48 with five centuries. He recently peeled off a match-winning 127 against England at The Oval, his first Test ton away from home. Rohit has been India's highest scorer in Tests this year with 906 runs from 11 matches.
The Indian team has currently entered a three-day quarantine before departing for South Africa on Thursday, December 16. As for Panchal, the 31-year-old batter from Gujarat has been drafted into the main squad for the second time. Panchal was earlier part of India's jumbo squad that faced England at home earlier this year, and along with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, is now the third opener in the squad.
With an impressive First-Class record which has seen him score over 7000 runs in 100 matches, including 24 centuries and a best of 314 not out, Panchal was part of the India A squad that played South Africa A and notched up a score of 96 in the first game.
However, the year when Panchal became a household name in the Indian domestic circuit was back in 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season, when the batter top scored in the tournament with 1310 runs at an average of 87.33. He was instrumental in Gujarat winning their maiden Ranji Trophy title, following which Panchal took over the captaincy following Parthiv Patel's retirement.