India were handed a major injury scare ahead of their four-Test series against Australia as Prithvi Shaw was carried off the Sydney Cricket Ground with a suspected ankle injury during the third day of the tour game against Cricket Australia XI.
Shaw, fielding on the deep mid-wicket fence, caught CA XI opener Max Bryant just inside the rope and fell over while trying to keep the ball in play as momentum carried him beyond. Shaw twisted his left ankle while landing and appeared to be in a lot of pain as India physio Patrick Farhart rushed to attend to him.
The 19-year-old opener, unable to put any pressure on his left leg, was carried off the field. BCCI later confirmed that he was taken to the hospital for scans.
The untimely injury, if serious, will severely affect India’s plans heading into the first Test at Adelaide on December 6. Shaw, who scored a century on Test debut last month, sparkled again in the tour game with a breezy 66 and was booked to take one of the two opening slots.
At the end of the second day’s play in the tour game, batting coach Sanjay Bangar had said that only one opening slot was up for grabs, indicating that the management would toss up between the misfiring KL Rahul and veteran Murali Vijay to be Shaw’s partner.
If Shaw’s injury requires replacement, India will need to call up a backup opener. Mayank Agarwal, who was picked in the squad for the Windies Tests, and the recently-discarded Shikhar Dhawan could be in line for a recall.