NEW DELHI: Indian batter K.L. Rahul has been ruled out of the third Test against England but expected to be match-fit for the final two games, the country’s cricket board said on Monday.

The Test begins on Thur­sday in Rajkot with the five-match series level at 1-1 after India bounced back from their opening loss.

Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja missed the second Test due to injuries but were named in the squad for the rest of the three matches subject to fitness.

Rahul has reached “90 per cent of match fitness and is progressing well”, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said.

“He will continue his recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to be completely match-fit for the fourth and fifth Test.”

Uncapped batsman Devdutt Padikkal has been added to the squad as Rahul’s replacement.

Rahul is the second major Indian batsman to be out of action during the third test, after Virat Kohli pulled out of the series due to personal reasons.

England spinner Jack Leach will also miss the rest of the series due to a knee injury.

Padikkal, who has repla­ced Rahul in the squad, has represented India in T20 cricket but is yet to make his Test debut.

Updated Squad for the third Test: Rohit Sharma (capt), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja (subject to fitness), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2024

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