India’s senior-most pacer Ishant Sharma hurt his ankle badly while bowling during a Ranji Trophy game between Delhi and Vidarbha on Monday. Ishant’s injury can prove to be a massive blow for Indian cricket fans as the Test squad announcement for the New Zealand tour is just around the corner.

The 31-year-old pacer was expected to an important role during the upcoming New Zealand tour, where top-ranked Team India will play two Test matches, beginning February 21 in Wellington. The news regarding Ishant’s injury is also likely to disturb the team combination.

Spearheading the Delhi attack against Vidarbha, the extent of Ishant’s injury is not known, but he looked in real pain as he hobbled off the ground with the help of support staff. The injury happened in the fifth over of Vidarbha’s second innings and Ishant’s third over.

It was a short delivery, which rival skipper Faiz Fazal tried to pull but the ball hit the pads, as Ishant vociferously appealed on the follow-through before slipping suddenly.

He was writhing in pain and needed immediate medical help. Ishant had taken three wickets for 45 runs in Vidarbha’s first innings.

The veteran of 96 Tests is expected to be in the Test squad for the New Zealand tour and this is his last Ranji game of the season.

His next outing is supposed to be a practice match in Hamilton but in case the injury turns out to be serious, he will be going to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation programme.