All-rounder Vijay Shankar suffered an injury scare after being hit in the forearm which forced him to leave India’s training session midway at the Oval ground on Friday. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder, who has been tipped as probable No 4 in the batting order, was hit in the forearm while attempting to pull a short ball from left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed. Shankar looked in considerable pain and left the nets immediately.
“Shankar was taken for precautionary scans and a call on his participation in Saturday’s warm-up game against New Zealand will be taken after the reports are out. It may come Friday evening (London time) or Saturday morning,” a BCCI source told PTI.
With Kedar Jadhav’s left shoulder injury already keeping the team management on tenterhooks, Shankar’s injury, if it turns out to be serious, will certainly give Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri sleepless nights.
While Jadhav’s participation in the warm-up game is doubtful, the Maharashtra right-hander did bat at the main nets on the day after taking throwdowns on the first training session.
He is still not bowling at the nets and it was learnt that he was reluctant to bowl at the Chennai Super Kings nets due to his dodgy hamstring.
On Saturday, India will look to hit the ground running when they face New Zealand in their opening warm-up game of the World Cup. However, with India yet to clear the haze of confusion over the number four position, it will be much more than a ritual of allowing one top-order batsman after another — behemoths in their own right — a hit in the middle.
The outing at the Kennington Oval will go beyond experimenting with their highly skilled bowling attack, and quite a bit of focus will be on KL Rahul and Shankar, contenders for the number four slot. Dubbed the most challenging World Cup ever owing to a format that is a throwback to the 1992 edition, Virat Kohli’s team still arrived at the United Kingdom confident of adding to its two titles in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) showpiece event. India won the tournament in 1983 and 2011.
Kohli’s men, second behind England in the one-day international rankings, will start the tournament among the favourites alongside the host nation and defending champions Australia. They begin their campaign in tournament proper against South Africa in Southampton on June 5, but India will get their first feel of the mega event in the iconic British capital.
(With PTI Inputs)