Rohit twists ankle as India's injury woes continue

Rohit twists ankle as India's injury woes continue

Mumbaikar ruled out of second Test, to visit NCA for rehabilitation

Rohit twists ankle as India's injury woes continue

Rohit Sharma

India lost the services of Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman and S Sreesanth during the two-Test series in Bangladesh that ended late last month. Of the quartet, Laxman alone was expected to be available for selection for the first Test against South Africa which began here on Saturday.

The Hyderabadi, who needed ten stitches after splitting his webbing during the first Test, however, didn’t recover sufficiently enough in the short period between the end of that tour and the beginning of this game. With doubts over his availability, the selectors roped in Rohit Sharma as a back-up, but the Mumbaikar too limped out of contention after twisting his left ankle during a game of ‘rocketball’, 15 minutes before the toss.
The original party of 15 had no specialist batsmen in reserve, and with Rohit too being ruled out, India had no option but to field reserve wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha as a specialist batting option.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was questioned about the wisdom of no reserve batsmen and two reserve pacemen in the initial squad for the first Test. “Now we can raise so many questions,” the Indian skipper replied. “We did not expect so many injuries to happen in such a short span of time.

“Also, Rohit’s injury happened just 15 minutes before the toss. Had it happened yesterday, we could have asked for a replacement who could have played the game. It’s just (bad) luck. Cricket is a game of luck.”

Throwing further light on Saha’s selection, Dhoni went on, “Once Rohit was ruled out, we had only two options -- either to play Laxman, who is only 50 to 60 percent fit, or to include Saha who is hundred percent fit. We were not going for the five-bowler option, so we had to play Saha.”

Dhoni bristled at a suggestion that pre-play routines such as rocketball – which involves catching a small, synthetic projectile – should not be entertained before important games. “We play cricket some 200 days a year. To just put two cones on the ground and warm up every day can get boring,” he pointed out.

“If you see, Rahul got injured in Bangladesh playing cricket. Injuries are part and parcel of the game. Rohit will now go to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation.”

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