India’s star opener, Shikhar Dhawan, is uncertain to play the first Test against South Africa starting from 5th January, owing to an ankle injury.
Just before the departure of the Indian team to South Africa, the Delhi boy was seen limping, with his left ankle being heavily strapped. The team departed on Thursday, and will begin the tour with the 1st Test in Cape Town beginning on 5th January.
India are on the back of a historic home season, smashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in the T20 series. The last year at home has been successful for India, with the Men in Blue winning 37 games in a calendar year, which is second to Australia’s 38 in 2003.
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Shikhar Dhawan has been an integral part of India’s successful 2017, and his injury going into the South African tour will be of concern to the management. A BCCI official revealed:
“Shikhar Dhawan’s ankle is being assessed. The physio is yet to give any report to the national selectors. As of now, he is travelling with the team. However, it can’t be ascertained whether he will be available for the first Test match or not.”
The 32-year-old is currently with the team, but is doubtful for the first Test. As a result, KL Rahul might be added into the XI to open with Murail Vijay. However, openers Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund are also tipped to replace the injured Dhawan, if his injury gets serious and Dhawan is sidelined for the Test series.
Gautam Gambhir had a brilliant Ranji Trophy season, and his brilliance with the bat has carried Delhi to the final of the tournament. Gambhir has smashed three tons in the season, and has led Delhi to their first final in a decade.
On the other hand, Abhinav Mukund scored 82 runs in his last Test match against Sri Lanka, and might be considered to replace Dhawan.