From Wriddhiman Saha to Ravindra Jadeja: A timeline of the BCCI’s fitness inconsistencies

Poor injury management continues to dog the Indian cricket team, with Sunday’s revelation from head coach Ravi Shastri that the allrounder Ravindra Jadeja carried an injury to Australia and was not fully fit when named in the 13 for the recent Perth Test again throwing up questions of how the BCCI’s medical staff is handling its cricketers.

While addressing reporters at the MCG on Sunday, Shastri revealed that Jadeja had been suffering from stiff shoulder from the time he was playing Ranji Trophy and was given injections four days after landing in Australia. Jadeja’s fitness issue came up as a surprise as he was included in the 13-man squad for the second Test in Perth. He fielded for a major part of the two Australian innings as well, thus posing questions about Indian team’s injury management programme.

In the evening, the BCCI sent out an email clarifying that Jadeja is available for selection for the Boxing Day Test while shedding some light on the sequence of events that led to the allrounder’s unavailability for the Perth Test.

ALSO READ: Ravindra Jadeja declared fit for Boxing Day Test

On that note, here’s a brief look at the injury woes the Indian team has suffered this year.

Wriddhiman Saha

During India’s tour of South Africa in January, Wriddhiman Saha returned home to nurse a hamstring injury. In March, the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore cleared him as fully fit. During the Indian Premier League, Saha suffered a thumb injury that kept him out of the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June. It was later discovered that Saha was carrying a shoulder injury that ruled him out of contention for the tour of England. But the BCCI release did not mention any injury when the squad was announced for the England tour.

ALSO READ: Explained: Wriddhiman Saha’s injury fiasco

Saha, 33, was sent to the NCA for various rehab sessions, only to be told that he required surgery. The wicketkeeper visited three doctors, took several injections and was then informed that he could be out for several months.

R Ashwin

During India’s tour of England, R Ashwin picked up a groin strain in the third Test, played the fourth when clearly uncomfortable – the management insisted he was fit – and then didn’t play the fifth on account of injury.

Ashwin was off colour in the fourth Test at Southampton which India lost to lose the series, and in the match prior to that had been hampered by a stiff groin. He bowled 37.1 overs in the second innings at The Ageas Bowl, taking 1/84. When Shastri was asked if Ashwin was 100% fit for the fourth Test, he replied in the affirmative.

Shardul Thakur

In September, Thakur had flown home from the Asia Cup with hip and groin soreness last month. On October 12, the day of his Test debut versus West Indies in Hyderabad, Thakur was forced off the field after 10 deliveries with an ankle injury. The BCCI later confirmed that the 27-year-old had been sent for scans and would not return to take the field. Thakur batted during India’s only innings of the Test but did not bowl again.

ALSO READ: Thakur sidelined for six-seven weeks, unlikely for Australia Tests

He was subsequently ruled out of the ODI series versus West Indies.

Prithvi Shaw

On December 17, it was revealed that the teenage opener Prithvi Shaw would play no further role in India’s Test series in Australia, with the uncapped Mayank Agarwal called up to the squad in Melbourne ahead of the Boxing Day Test, the BCCI said in a media release.

Shaw, who suffered suffered a nasty ligament injury late last month during India’s tour match in Sydney, reportedly continued to feel discomfort. He recently resumed running and it was believed that he could return for the third Test.

Ravindra Jadeja

Jadeja has not been cleared for the MCG Test, and has not been sent back to India. “Didn’t play in Perth because he was 70-80%, will play in Melbourne even if 80% fit,” said Shastri.