New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Indian cricketers Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill and Axar Patel are nursing injuries and likely to miss the entire upcoming Test and ODI tour of South Africa.
All three key players may take some months to be completely fit and selectors are dealing with some big questions ahead of the South Africa tour.
Jadeja, who has often played as India's first-choice spinner outside the subcontinent, was ruled out of the second Test of the New Zealand series in Mumbai. In its statement before the start of the second Test, the BCCI had given swelling in the forearm as the reason for Jadeja missing the game.
"All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja suffered a right forearm injury during the 1st Test match in Kanpur. After undergoing scans, he was diagnosed with a swelling on his forearm. He has been advised rest and is thus ruled out of the 2nd Test in Mumbai," the statement said.
According to a report in Espncricinfo, the all-rounder could be out of action for a long period. If he misses the South Africa tour, it will be his second injury-enforced layoff this year. He had earlier broken his left thumb during the Test series in Australia in January and had to miss the final Test in Brisbane as well as the entire home series against England.
Meanwhile, the exact nature of Axar's problem could not be ascertained, however, it is understood that it's a stress-related injury.
In absence of two left-arm spinners Jadeja and Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin is expected to be the lead spinner and there is rarely a need to play more than one specialist tweaker in South Africa. However, selectors also have other options in Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem or Saurabh Kumar to choose from.
It is learnt that Gill's shin injury has resurfaced and selectors are not sure about his inclusion in the squad for the upcoming tour. He had also missed the Test series in England due to the same problem and suffered pain again during the Mumbai Test.
The youngster who played the two Tests against New Zealand at home recently, sat out a few sessions of play in the second Test after first getting hit in the arm and then the finger. He was taken for a precautionary scan and didn't take the field.
With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as first-choice openers and Mayank Agarwal hitting a century against New Zealand, India doesn't have a lack of options at the top of the order.
Injuries to several key players has also forced the Chetan Sharma led selection committee to delay naming the squad for the tour of South Africa.