Team India's preparation for the third and final Test of the series against South Africa in Johannesburg dealt a massive blow as opener KL Rahul got injured during the practice session on Sunday. Trailing 0-2 in the series, Virat Kohli and Co. have already lost the three-match rubber and will leave no stone unturned to avert the whitewash against a strong Proteas side.
The 25-year old Rahul suffered a blow to his left knee off the bowling of pacer Ishant Sharma. He immediately received the medical treatment from the support staff who put an ice pack on his knee. However, he later batted again though, shrugging off any worries for the moment.
Interestingly, India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane who missed out from the playing XI for the first two Tests also spent hours in the gruelling nets session. Rahane batted along with Kohli and Hardik Pandya in what could be the suggestive middle-order in the upcoming third Test which starts on January 24 in Wanderers.
While the wiry all-rounder opened up with some big hits as per his natural style of play, both Kohli and Rahane looked solid against pacers. When they batted, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami even bowled with new Kookaburra balls.
Called as a replacement for injured Wriddhiman Saha, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik later batted in tandem with Kohli, while Rahane finished up last against throw-downs from assistant coach Sanjay Bangar.
In the interim, Rohit along with Shikhar Dhawan was among the last group of batsmen to take strike. Patel batted ahead of Karthik in the roster order and worked on facing the short-ball with Pandya assisting him with throw-downs from a shortened distance.
Among the bowlers, Ashwin, Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah batted in the nets, whilst Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav had handled the pace bowling duties in the middle part of the session.
Fast bowlers Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini closed out proceedings as well.
(With PTI Inputs)