All-Rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the remainder of the Test series in Australia due to a shoulder injury and will return to India to undergo rehabilitation. Axar Patel, the Gujarat left-arm spinner, will replace Jadeja in the squad for the remaining two Tests.

Jadeja, who did not play in either of the defeats in Adelaide and Brisbane, has returned home to undergo a rehabilitation programme.

Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary had told reporters last month that Jadeja would need “three to four weeks” to recover from his shoulder injury and is unlikely to be fit for the start of the tri-series in Australia, which begins from January 16. Jadeja is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the new BCCI centre in Chennai and is being monitored by the board’s physiotherapist, Nitin Patel.

Axar has played nine ODIs since his debut against Bangladesh in June this year, taking 14 wickets at an average of 20.28, and economy rate of 4.49. He has taken seven wickets in the Ranji Trophy 2014-15 so far, including a four-for against Saurashtra in Rajkot.

The national selectors will be provided with an update on Jadeja’s fitness when they meet on January 6 to pick the squad for the tri-series against Australia and England, and the World Cup. The deadline for announcing the World Cup squad is January 7. If Jadeja’s rehabilitation goes according to plan, he will be match-fit by around January 20 and could get a chance to prove his fitness during India’s last two league games in the tri-series.

With Axar coming into limelight time and again, its high time Jadeja showed his worth in the team. Being identical in terms of their role in the team, Axar has a great opportunity to cement his position in the side.

If Jadeja fails to recover in time, the BCCI can get him replaced in the World Cup squad. According to the World Cup rules, a player can only be replaced on medical grounds. As a result, even if Jadeja does not recover in time for the World Cup after being picked in the squad, he can be replaced if the ICC medical committee is convinced, based on the fitness reports, that the injury will not heal in time for the tournament.

 

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