Shaw’s injury is a huge blow for India. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Shaw’s injury is a huge blow for India. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

India prodigy ruled out for series

India's looming second Test loss has been compounded by news batting prodigy Prithvi Shaw has been ruled out of the rest of the series.

And the tourists still face the prospect of unleashing a raft of changes for Boxing Day as their tour unravels after a dream start in Adelaide.

Shaw, better known as 'the next Sachin Tendulkar', was on Monday night ruled out of the final two Tests of the series, easing the pressure on out-of-sorts openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay.

Shaw will be sent home and replaced in the squad by Mayank Agarwal.

Rahul and Vijay have struggled to stamp their authority at the top of the order and the tourists were eager to see the return of Shaw, who has failed to sufficiently recover from an ugly ankle injury picked up in India's tour game at the SCG last month.

Rahul looked to have staked his claim for the spot with a second-innings 44 in Adelaide, while his fellow opener notched scores of 11 and 18.

However a horror showing in Perth, where he was knocked over for 2 and then a duck, left Rahul in an extremely fragile position before Shaw's unavailability became clear.


Shaw’s ankle was strapped during the Adelaide Test. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Shaw’s ankle was strapped during the Adelaide Test. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Should coach Ravi Shastri now want to make changes at the top of the order he could call on Rohit Sharma, who himself remains under an injury cloud.

Shaw suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly while attempting to take a catch during the warm-up of the SCG tour game.

Meanwhile, Shastri will desperately be hoping he can call on spin king Ravi Ashwin, who missed the Perth Test with an abdominal injury suffered while bowling India to victory with match figures of 6-149 in Adelaide.

Ashwin's unavailability proved decisive in Perth, as India opted for a four-pronged pace attack along with part-time offspinner Hanuma Vihari.

India could only watch on in horror as Nathan Lyon had the tourists in a spin, taking a first-innings five-wicket haul before landing key blows on Monday.

Ashwin has been seen bowling off a shortened run-up off two steps, but even if he doesn't recover it is almost certain India will dump fourth seamer Umesh Yadav in favour of either Ravindra Jadeja or Kuldeep Yadav.

Complicating matters is the sudden availability of fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Indian selectors are understood to be considering flying Pandya in to join the team in Melbourne.

An explosive batsman and fourth seam option, Pandya has been out of action for nearly three months with a lower back injury but returned to action for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy this week.

And he was back with a bang, taking a five-wicket haul and 73 against Mumbai.

Pandya's arrival puts the pressure on newcomer Vihari, who has impressed with his batting in Perth after replacing the injured Sharma.


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