New Delhi: The Indian cricket team on Tuesday grappled with major injury concerns ahead of their away assignment against New Zealand with opener Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of the T20 series and senior pacer Ishant Sharma certain to miss the Tests.
Sharma has been ruled out of next month's two-Test series in New Zealand after sustaining an ankle tear during a Ranji Trophy game here, a Delhi cricket association official said.
Ishant, playing for Delhi, twisted his ankle on his follow through while bowling against Vidarbha on Monday. The Test series against New Zealand is scheduled to start from February 21 in Wellington.
Dhawan was ousted from the five-match T20 series starting on Friday, due to a shoulder injury he suffered while fielding in the third ODI against Australia in Bengaluru.
"Yes, he (Dhawan) has been ruled out of the T20 series. A replacement will be announced soon" a BCCI official told PTI.
Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini is likely to replace the 96-Test veteran Ishant Sharma in the squad.
"Ishant Sharma's MRI report shows a Grade 3 ankle tear and it is serious. He has been advised six weeks of rest and rehabilitation. It is a big blow," said Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) general secretary Vinod Tihara.
India will play five T20 Internationals, three ODIs and two Tests during the tour starting with the shortest format on January 24.
Dhawan's injury troubles have carried into the new year and he did not come out to open during the successful run chase against Australia on Sunday. The left-handed batsman was taken for an X-ray after he hurt his left shoulder during fielding at the Chinnaswamy Stadim on Sunday.
K L Rahul came out to bat in his place alongside Rohit Sharma. Dhawan was seen wearing a sling on his left hand.
The 34-year-old Dhawan did not take the field for the entire duration of the Australian innings in the second ODI after a Pat Cummins bouncer hit him on the rib cage while batting. Dhawan missed the entire limited overs series against West Indies last month.
The statement on Ishant Sharma's fitness came from the DDCA but the Indian cricket board is yet to issue any update on his injury. "It's a standard operating procedure (SOP) in BCCI as we will again do his MRI to ascertain the degree of tear and decide on his rehabilitation," a BCCI source said.
When he suffered his injury, Ishant was in the middle of his second Ranji Trophy match this season, having played the opening home game against Hyderabad last month.
The 31-year-old is an integral part of arguably India's best ever pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.