India were dealt a massive injury scare on the third day of the practice match against Cricket Australia XI with Prithvi Shaw carried off the field. Being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the practice fixture is India’s one and only chance to get ready for the four-match Test series that follows – starting December 6.
Shaw, while fielding on the deep mid-wicket boundary, caught Cricket Australia XI opener Max Bryant but fell over while trying to keep the ball in play as momentum carried him beyond. He twisted his left ankle while landing and appeared to be in a lot of pain as physio Patrick Farhart rushed to his aid. The 19-year-old opener, unable to put any pressure on his left leg, was carried off the field. BCCI confirmed that he was taken to the hospital for scans.
The six took Bryant to his half-century in the practice game, but the focus remained on Shaw as he immediately grabbed his left ankle with medical staff from both sides rushing to his help.
After being taken off the field, he was helped into the away dressing room before leaving the venue via a motorised stretcher, with captain Virat Kohli rushing in from the field to check on his welfare. Shaw returned to the stadium during the lunch break wearing a moon boot and on crutches.
Update: The medical team is assessing Prithvi Shaw at the moment. He hurt his left ankle while attempting to take a catch at the boundary ropes. Shaw is being taken to the hospital for scans #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/PVyCHBO98e
— BCCI (@BCCI) 30 November 2018
The injury, if serious, will severely hamper India’s plans heading into the first Test at Adelaide on December 6. Shaw, who began his Test career with a century against the West Indies last month, sparkled again in the tour game with a breezy 66 – reaching his 50 at run a ball pace – and was destined to take one of the two opening slots.
At the end of the second day’s play in the tour game, India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar had said that only one opening slot was up for grabs, indicating the team management was yet to decide between a misfiring KL Rahul and veteran Murali Vijay to be Shaw’s partner.
If Shaw’s injury does require a replacement, India will need to call up a backup opener. Mayank Agarwal, who was picked in the squad for the Windies Tests, and the discarded Shikhar Dhawan could be in line for a recall.