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KL Rahul set to miss India vs England fifth Test, Hardik likely to captain in Ireland


KL Rahul
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

KL Rahul gestures during a practice session. (File Photo)

KL Rahul will miss the fifth Test between India and England as the India opener is unlikely to recover from a groin injury that he suffered ahead of the South Africa T20Is.

Rahul, who was set to lead India in the five-match T20I series against South Africa missed out on an opportunity to showcase his captaincy skills due to the injury. 

For the limited-overs series in England, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to lead the side. Currently, Rishabh Pant is leading the team against South Africa and the wicketkeeper-batsman will only join the Test squad in England after the South Africa series. 

“Rahul has not recovered from his groin injury. The Test squad members are assembling in Mumbai today and will fly out midnight. Rahul is not travelling with the team. He will take some more time to recover although he might appear in a fitness test during weekend. Chances of recovery aren’t looking bright,” a BCCI official told PTI.

All the players, except Pant, are leaving for England early on Thursday for the July 1-5 contest, notable being skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.

“You have Shubman Gill, who has opened in most of his Test matches. Else, Cheteshwar Pujara can also open the batting, in case there is any fitness issues for any of the two openers. It was a 17-member squad and 16 will be going. So that’s not a problem,” the source added.

-Hardik in line for captaincy in Ireland-

It has been decided that Pant will not be playing the two T20 Internationals against Ireland and hence Hardik, who is his deputy for the South Africa series, is expected to lead the side.

“While there is Dinesh Karthik, who is the senior-most player in the squad along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it was Hardik, who was Pant’s designated deputy and hence favourite to lead,” the official added.

In Pant’s absence, India have two keepers in Ishan Kishan and Karthik in the squad.

There won’t be too many changes to the squad that is currently playing against South Africa and hence chances of Mohsin Khan or Rahul Tripathi look dim.

(Inputs PTI)

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