India suffered a huge blow after their in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan was on Monday ruled out of the remainder of the cricket Test series against Sri Lanka due to a hairline fracture in his hand.
India, who lost the first Test by 63 runs against the islanders, will be playing the second Test at P Sara Oval from Thursday.
“The BCCI medical team has confirmed that opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the remaining part of India’s tour of Sri Lanka. Dhawan had injured his right hand during the first Test at Galle. He underwent further tests that confirmed a hairline fracture in his hand. He would require four to six weeks to recover from the injury,” a BCCI media release said.
Dhawan, who scored a century in the first innings, batted with a swollen knuckle after he dropped a catch standing at the first slip. The batsman was Kaushal Silva and bowler was Varun Aaron.
In fact, the injury was the reason that Dhawan could not play his natural game on the fourth morning as he was stuck on his overnight score for 36 balls, not being able to pack a punch in his drives.
India have some serious injury issues to deal with at the moment as other opener M. Vijay is also recuperating from a hamstring injury.
While the team management have stated that Vijay is getting better under observation of physio Patrick Farhart, a final call on his fitness will be taken only a day before the second Test starts.
The only specialist opener that India have at the moment is K.L. Rahul while Cheteshwar Pujara also has had the experience of opening for India in a few Test matches. Pujara recently opened with Rahul for India A against Australia A in Chennai.
While Stuart Binny was named as the 16th member of the squad on Sunday, the injury to Dhawan means that the squad size is now back to 15. The team management is yet to announce the name of a replacement for Dhawan.
The two selectors, who are travelling with the team are Vikram Rathour and Saba Karim.