Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha is set to be monitored by the BCCI’s medical team for a finger injury that he picked up during the IPL Qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 25. This raises a question mark over his availability for Afghanistan’s inaugural Test in Bengaluru from June 14. The BCCI will wait for a fresh assessment on the injury before taking a final call on his availability for the Test.
Saha was struck on his right thumb by a Shivam Mavi bouncer, and was immediately in some discomfort. Although he continued to bat, he was dismissed soon after. He also missed six games in the IPL because of a shoulder niggle.
Saha is India’s only frontline wicketkeeper in the 15-man squad for the Afghanistan Test. If he’s ruled out, India have the option of looking for a back-up or hand the gloves to KL Rahul, who had previously chipped in with wicketkeeping duties for a day in a Test match in Sri Lanka. He was more recently wicketkeeper for Kings XI Punjab.
During India’s previous Test assignment in South Africa, Parthiv Patel was brought into the XI for the second and third Test after Saha was ruled out because of a hamstring niggle. Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant, top scorers for Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils respectively, could be the others in the fray. Karthik was called up as the reserve keeper when Saha was sidelined in South Africa.