South African spinner Keshav Maharaj has been ruled out of the third and final Test match against India owing to a shoulder injury that he incurred during the second Test in Pune. Left-arm spinner George Linde has been announced as the replacement for Mahara for the final Test slated to be played in Ranchi starting October 19.
The spinner incurred the injury on day two of the second Test while fielding. "A re-assessment ahead of the start of play this morning along with MRI results revealed that he will not be fit in time to play in the final Test match," a release from Cricket South Africa stated on Sunday (October 13), just minutes after the conclusion of the second Test. India beat South Africa by an innings and 137 runs -- their biggest win against Proteas in Tests.
Maharaj picked just one wicket in the second Test but scored a gritty 72 runs in the first innings to keep South Africa's hope of at least a draw alive. His ninth-wicket partnership of 109 runs alongside Vernon Philander helped South Africa amass 275 in the first innings before being bowled out. Maharaj scored 22 runs in the second innings.
"An MRI scan revealed that Keshav has sustained an injury to a muscle in his right shoulder which was strapped in order for him to bat yesterday. He was re-assess this morning, particularly with regards to bowling, and he showed significant discomfort in this latter discipline.
"Based on this morning's assessment and the findings of the scan, the medical team feel he will not be fit in time for the next Test match in six days' time. The nature and extent of the injury would mean that he will probably return to play in 14 to 21 days based on his progress during the rehabilitation phase," team doctor Ramjee Hashendra said.
India are presently 2-0 ahead in the three-game series and are now staring at their maiden whitewash victory against South Africa.