India vice-captain KL Rahul and allrounder Axar Patel will miss the upcoming three T20Is against West Indies in Kolkata starting on February 16. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has recovered completely from Covid-19, and Deepak Hooda have been named as their replacements in India’s 18-member squad.
Rahul sustained an upper left hamstring strain while fielding during the second ODI on Wednesday. The injury also prevented his participation in Friday’s final ODI. Axar is recovering from Covid-19 and is in his “final stage of rehabilitation”, as per a BCCI statement.
Axar was the only member from India’s T20I squad who hadn’t joined India’s extended biosecure bubble in Ahmedabad – comprising members from both limited-overs squads – ahead of their departure to Kolkata on Saturday evening. Both Axar and Rahul will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further management of their injuries.
Gaikwad’s addition leaves India with three opening options alongside captain Rohit Sharma. They also have Ishan Kishan, who is the second wicketkeeper, and Venkatesh Iyer, the allrounder who has had much of his T20 success in recent times as an opener for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.