Dubai: The Indian cricket team’s injury woes were compounded on Thursday with spinner Axar Patel and speedster Shardul Thakur ruled out of the ongoing Asia Cup here, joining all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the casualty list. Pandya was also ruled out of the tournament with an acute back injury he suffered against Pakistan on Wednesday.
The en masse rule-out has led to growing concerns in the BCCI about injury management by the team’s support staff. Deepak Chahar has replaced Pandya in the squad, Ravindra Jadeja will come in for Axar, while Siddharth Kaul will be flown in as reinforcement for Shardul, the BCCI confirmed on Thursday.
Left-arm spinner Axar injured his left index finger while fielding in the same game against Pakistan. He was sent for scans and the results showed that he had a tendon tear. Right-arm pacer Shardul experienced right hip and groin soreness after the game against Hong Kong. Chahar, Jadeja and Kaul will join the team on Thursday.
Pandya not taking further part in the tournament was expected after he was stretchered off the field during the group league encounter against Pakistan on Wednesday. The incident took place in the 18th over of the Pakistan innings when the all-rounder was bowling his fifth over.
It was the fifth delivery and Pandya, after completing the follow through, immediately felt his lower back and lay on the ground in considerable pain. He was unable to get up and was stretchered off. He was then taken for medical examination.
Later, the BCCI tweeted that Pandya was suffering from an acute lower back injury. Pandya ended with figures of 4.5-0-24-0 after Babar Azam’s catch was dropped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni when the batsman was on 32.