Wriddhiman Saha has torn a hamstring, forcing him to miss the second qualifier of IPL 2020 for the Sunrisers Hyderabad against the Delhi Capitals in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Saha, who had to sit out the eliminator against the Royal Challengers Bangalore because of the same injury, could now be a doubt for India’s upcoming tour of Australia, in which he is a part of the Test squad, even though the BCCI hasn’t yet made a statement on the matter.
David Warner, the Sunrisers captain, confirmed the injury, which forced him to open with Shreevats Goswami in the eliminator – Goswami did well to grab a chance off Virat Kohli behind the stumps then, but was dismissed for a three-ball duck in the Sunrisers’ chase.
India have already had to leave out Rohit Sharma (hamstring injury) for the tour, even though he has continued to play for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL after a short layoff, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has a thigh injury. But Ishant Sharma, who had to miss most of the IPL with a muscle tear, is expected to be fit for the Tests in Australia. The first Test in Australia starts after the white-ball leg of the tour, on December 17 in Adelaide, followed by fixtures in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Saha had stretched his groin while batting against the Capitals in an earlier game at IPL 2020, but then played against the Mumbai Indians in the Sunrisers’ final league game, where he played a lead role in a crucial win. He has had a good time with the bat on the few occasions he has played this season, scoring 30 in 31 balls from the middle order first up against the Kolkata Knight Riders but then blossoming when pushed to the top of the order as the team dropped Jonny Bairstow to accommodate Jason Holder. Saha’s scores after that were 87 in 45 balls against the Capitals, 39 in 32 against the Royal Challengers and 58* in 45 against the Mumbai Indians.
The Test squad bound for Australia has Rishabh Pant as the main wicketkeeping option, though KL Rahul, the chosen man behind the stumps in the shorter formats, is also in the frame. Rahul is the only stumper in the ODI squad, while Sanju Samson is also around in the T20I party.