Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India batsman Rohit Sharma will miss the rest of the ongoing ODI series and upcoming one-off Twenty20 International against England after fracturing the middle finger of his right hand.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Murali Vijay, who flew back to India following the national team’s 3-1 thrashing in the Test series, has been called up as Sharma’s replacement.
However, the decision to pick Vijay over a number of young talents has left many former players and pundits stumped. This is because Vijay is renowned for being a Test specialist and has not played an ODI since July 2013.
“Rohit Sharma has sustained a fracture on the middle finger of his right hand, and has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI and T20 International Series against England, as a result,” a BCCI press release said. “The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked Murali Vijay as his replacement.”
But, the million-dollar question is whether Vijay will actually be picked to play. India already have two specialist batsmen in Ambati Rayudu and Sanju Samson, so the chances of Vijay actually playing in one of the two ODIs left or the one-off Twenty20 International are highly unlikely.
Sharma was promoted to the top of the Indian batting order in January 2013 and has flourished since then, averaging 46.34.
Sharma played a crucial role in leading India to victory during last year’s Champions Trophy, which was held in England. He also became the third batsman to score a double century in an ODI, which happened against Australia in Bangalore in November 2013.
The 27-year-old has also been trying to cement a permanent spot for himself in India’s Test team, but has been unable to do so. Sharma did get a chance to play in the third Test against England in Southampton, but failed to impress as he only scored 28 and 6 and took one wicket with his part-time off-spin.
Ironically, Sharma’s last trip to England in 2011 was cut short as well when he injured his right index finger after being hit on the glove by a bouncer from pace bowler Stuart Broad.