Wriddhiman Saha has been officially ruled out of the upcoming one-off Test against Afghanistan after picking up a thumb injury. His place behind the stumps has been handed over to Dinesh Karthik. The Test begins on June 14 in Bengaluru and would be a maiden appearance for Afghanistan into red ball cricket.
Saha picked up the injury during the second IPL Qualifier while representing Sunrisers Hyderabad against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 25 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. He was put under observation by the BCCI medical staff and the management has now decided to give him adequate rest before the start of an all-important tour of England. Saha’s recovery period is expected to be around five to six weeks.
With a chance at retribution, ‘DK’ could build on his success in the shortest formats where he’s played a pivotal role in India winning the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka and then captaining KKR to the qualifiers. But, the Test format eludes him. He made his Test debut in 2004 and hasn’t made an appearance since 2010. When playing in England in 2007, Karthik had scored three half centuries – 60 at Lord’s, 77 at Nottingham and 91 at the Oval.
Earlier, KL Rahul had also thrown his hat into the ring to take up the wicketkeeping responsibility should the team management require it. “I am always open to the challenge of dual responsibility. I have been training hard and will take up the role if the team demands the same,” Rahul, who is also a wicket-keeper, said.
Saha had remained unsure of his participationg in the historic Test. “The way I feel, to be honest, I might not be fit in time. Ultimately, the selectors will decide. It’s not in my hands,” Saha had told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the announcement of his coaching programme at the Kalighat Club. “I don’t know the exact situation right now, so I cannot comment on whether I would be taking part in the Afghanistan Test. The BCCI is keeping a track on my injury on a day-to-day basis. It will depend on how I recover and whether I do in time for the one-off test,” he added.