India’s Suryakumar Yadav will miss the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan due to an ankle injury he sustained during the series against South Africa, according to reports by Indian media.
This setback could sideline him for up to six weeks, affecting his immediate cricket commitments.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed Yadav’s absence, stating that he is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
BCCI sources indicated that the 31-year-old’s fitness will be assessed during his participation in the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai in February. This will serve as a fitness check ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
A BCCI source informed IANS, “Surya has reported to NCA for rehab work. The medical team has ruled him injured and unavailable for the Afghanistan series starting in three weeks. He is expected to play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy in February to evaluate his fitness before the IPL.”
With key players like Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya out, the selectors face a captaincy challenge. While Rohit Sharma is a potential leader, speculation exists about Ravindra Jadeja assuming temporary captaincy. However, concerns about Jadeja’s workload, given his commitment to all five Tests against England, are significant.
Additionally, Ruturaj Gaikwad, who led the squad at the Asian Games, is unavailable due to a broken finger, depleting batting options.
The selectors are also contemplating the wicketkeeper’s role, as Ishan Kishan withdrew from the South Africa Tests for personal reasons, reportedly to focus on mental health after a prolonged period of playing. Jitesh Sharma is considered as a potential replacement behind the stumps.
The BCCI, respecting player privacy, has not delved into Kishan’s decision, recognizing the impact of inconsistent selections on players’ mental health.
As the team prepares to face Afghanistan, they confront not only on-field challenges but also the task of balancing performance with player well-being in the demanding realm of international cricket.