India has suffered a major setback ahead of the Test series against Australia as in-form opener Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the first Test due to an ankle injury. Shaw sustained the injury while fielding in a practice game against Cricket Australia (CA) XI on November 30.
On the third day of a four-day practice game at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Shaw twisted his left ankle while trying to attempt a catch at deep mid-wicket.
In the 15th over of the CA XI innings, opener Max Bryant flicked a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery high in the air towards deep mid-wicket. Shaw got under the ball, caught it and then while trying to keep himself from rolling over the boundary rope, fell over on his left ankle with his entire body weight.
The 19-year-old immediately clutched his ankle and grimaced in immense pain as the physio Partick Farhart rushed to check on him. Shaw had to be carried out of the ground to the nearest hospital as he was unable to walk.
Several scans in the hospital revealed that the opener has suffered a lateral ligament injury and hence, ruled out of the first Test against Australia
"Shaw underwent scans this morning and the reports revealed a lateral ligament injury. Shaw will be unavailable for the First Test against Australia in Adelaide. He will undergo an intensive rehabilitation program to hasten the recovery and be available for selection at the earliest," read a statement on Shaw's injury on BCCI's official website.
This news is set to deal a massive blow to Virat Kohli's plans for the Test series considering that Shaw, who scored 66 in the practice game, was the only opener who came into the series on the back of notable performances.
It is quite comical that with two openers who have 89 test matches between them, the only Indian opener who had his place confirmed in the team was the one with only two international matches in his bag.
The injury is now set to give KL Rahul yet another chance to prove himself in white clothes and Murali Vijay is expected to walk out with him to open the batting.
India has not named a replacement for Shaw yet, but if they do, it will in all likelihood be either Mayank Agarwal or Shikhar Dhawan.