Delhi: Massive blow for Team India ahead of the highly-awaited South Africa tour as four of their key members – Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shubman Gill, and Ishant Sharma are likely to miss the bus for the Rainbow Nation due to injury concerns, as per a report published in The Indian Express on Wednesday. All of these players were part of the Indian cricket team’s squad for the recently-concluded two-match Test series against New Zealand. It is also believed that injuries to several players has prompted BCCI senior selection committee to delay naming the India squad for the South Africa tour.

As per the report – Jadeja, who featured in the first Test against the Black Caps in Kanpur, has a ligament tear that will take months to heal and if he undergoes surgery, he will only get fit before the Indian Premier League next year. The 33-year-old all-rounder missed the second Test in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Axar has suffered a stress fracture which takes a minimum of six weeks to recuperate. Axar, who made a dream debut in Test cricket earlier this year against England, has picked up 36 wickets in five Tests at an outstanding average of 11.86. He had also scalped 5 fifers in his short career so far.

In its press release before the Mumbai Test, the BCCI had given swelling in the forearm as the reason for Jadeja missing the Test. “All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja suffered a right forearm injury during the 1st Test match in Kanpur. After undergoing scans, he was diagnosed with a swelling on his forearm. He has been advised rest and is thus ruled out of the 2nd Test in Mumbai,” the release stated.

Another unfortunate development was about opener Shubman Gill’s injury which resurfaced during the New Zealand Test series. The 22-year-old’s shin injury had earlier ruled him out of the England tour earlier this year. Experienced pacer – Ishant Sharma, who missed the Mumbai Test versus the Black Caps due to a side strain, is also doubtful for the trip to South Africa.

Ishant is no longer a certainty in the Indian Test line-up and the rise of Mohammed Siraj as a Test pacer has put a question mark on the former’s future in the longer format.

India are scheduled to tour South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs, starting from December 26 at the SuperSport Park, Centurion.