With just 2 weeks to go for their opening game against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, India suffered another injury blow.
Medium pacer Deepak Chahar, one of the standby players in contention to replace Jasprit Bumrah, sustained a back injury before the ODI match against South Africa in Lucknow on Thursday.
As per sources, Deepak Chahar injured his back during a practise session prior to India’s first ODI against South Africa.
As a result, he did not play in the series opener and will miss the subsequent two games as well.
This injury is a source of worry for the selectors who are already missing the services of Jasprit Bumrah.
Incidentally, even Mohammed Shami has not fully recovered from COVID-19.
”Deepak has sustained a back injury but it’s not too serious. However a few days of rest might be advisable,” according to a source.
”So it will be team management’s call if they would like to risk Deepak as he is in T20 World Cup stand-by list. In any case, if there is requirement there, it would be a priority.”
Chahar was later flown to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, where the Indian cricket board’s medical team will assess the extent of his injury.
“We will soon get an update on Chahar. He had pain in his back on eve of the game and was not comfortable at all. The team management decided to send him to NCA where further scans will be conducted.” a source added.
The back injury would be especially monitored as he had injured the area during this year’s IPL and missed four months of cricket.
The late injury meant that he did not travel with the India team to Perth, where they would play two warm-up games against New Zealand (Oct 17) and Australia (Oct 18).
Having already lost Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, India can’t afford losing another fast bowler to an injury.
October 9 is the cut-off date to confirm the squad.
The injury comes at a bad time for Chahar whose stock was steadily rising.
Unlike Shami, Chahar has been a regular in the T20 series against the Proteas as well as Australia before them.
Chahal is also a handy batter as he scored 30-plus runs in both his international matches this year.
He was lethal in Thiruvananthapuram where he swung the ball both ways with splendid control and bowled Temba Bavuma with a brilliant in-swinger.
He has been a much improved bowler at the death too, after he has added an off-cutter and slow bouncer to his arsenal.