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India vs England: Ajinkya Rahane ruled out of remaining two Test, Shardul Thakur named back-up for injured Shami

Mumbai: Team India is sweating over huge injury issues with batsman Ajinkya Rahane being ruled out of the remaining two Tests against England after sustaining an avulsion fracture on his right index finger during the team’s practice session and has been replaced by Manish Pandey.

A ball struck Rahane on Wednesday in the nets and the BCCI medical team confirmed that he would not be able to play in the last two matches of the ongoing five-Test series against England, which India are leading 2-0.

While Pandey has been included as Rahane’s replacement, medium pacer Shardul Thakur has been called as back-up for India pacer Mohammed Shami, who is nursing a sore knee.

“The BCCI medical team is closely monitoring his (Shami) progress and a decision on his participation will be taken before the start of the fourth Test match,” a BCCI release said.

Earlier in the day, India captain Virat Kohli said that a call on whether the UP-born Bengal pace bowler Shami will play would be taken this evening.

“We are going to take a call in the evening in terms of how he (Mohammed Shami) is feeling with his knee. After the Mohali Test he felt soreness in his knee, so we need to take a corrective call all on that,” said Kohli at the Wankhede Stadium.

Shami had undergone a knee surgery after the last World Cup and was out for 15 months and Kohli said this was the reason the team did not want to push him to play if the bowler was not comfortable.

“Because he has a history of knee surgery, we don’t want to push a player to an extent where we lose him for the whole season. So we will take a call, as I said, in the evening, to how much rest he needs, or he can go for tomorrow as well. There is still a bit of time for that to be decided.”

Shami has been the stand-out performer for India in bowling after off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin this year, with a bag of 29 wickets in three rubbers, including 10 in the current series in three games.

PTI