PERTH: India suffered a big setback on the eve of the second Test against Australia when ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and experienced batsman Rohit Sharma were ruled out on Thursday.
Also missing, as expected, will be young opener Prithvi Shaw, who was not considered for the opening Test in Adelaide after suffering ligament damage in a warm-up match.
Ravi Ashwin has a left-sided abdominal strain. He is receiving treatment at the moment. He has been ruled out of the second Test, India’s governing body, the BCCI, said.
Rohit Sharma jarred his lower back while fielding in the first Test at Adelaide. He is undergoing treatment, he too is ruled out of the second Test.
The BCCI added that Shaw was “recovering well” but still undergoing treatment. Ashwin took six wickets in the first Test, which India won by 31 runs, while Sharma hit 37 and one.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli was undaunted Thursday despite losing prolific spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma to injury as he looks to twist the knife in the second Test against Australia.
The visitors went 1-0 in the four-Test series after a tense, 31-run win in Adelaide earlier this week — their first victory in Australia in a decade.
But India, who are searching for their first series win in Australia, suffered a setback when Ashwin and the experienced Sharma were declared unavailable for the second Test in Perth, starting Friday.
“We are definitely confident of the percentage of chances we have and we want to build on that,” said Kohli at a pre-match press conference before the injury problems were announced.
Obviously Australia is going to be a strong team in their home conditions and on a wicket like Perth, which probably offers you more than most other pitches in Australia. But we have an equal chance.
India named a 13-man team for the Test starting Friday, which is set to be played on a fast and bouncy Perth Stadium wicket.
All-rounder Hanuma Vihari, who can bowl off-spin, was included, as was Ravindra Jadeja who has taken 185 Test wickets with his left-arm spin and also averages 32.44 with the bat in 39 appearances for India.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav