India endured a major blow ahead of the highly-awaited five-match Test series against England as opener Shubman Gill is likely to be ruled out of the entire rubber with an internal injury. The nature of the injury is yet to be disclosed. With Gill likely to be unavailable for the Test series, Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran might be added to the India squad. The 25-year-old Easwaran toured England as one of the backup players. It is still not clear whether Gill’s condition warrants surgery ahead of the series starting August 4 at the Trent Bridge Ground.

“There is a chance that Shubman could be ruled out of the whole Test tour even though it is still a month away. The injury is serious is what we have come to know,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The 21-year-old Gill is set to stay in England where physio Nitin Patel and strength and conditioning coach Sohum Desai will monitor his progress. It is believed that the Punjab batsman has either sustained a calf muscle injury or hamstring tear which could take considerable time to heal. It is not clear how and when he picked up the injury.

Gill played without signs of discomfort during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton, which was played from June 18 to 23. The India opener did not contribute much in both the innings as India lost the WTC final by 8 wickets to the Black Caps.

Since it’s a five-Test series, there could be a slim outside chance that he might make a comeback in the final Test of the series.

Gill, one of the heroes of the Australia tour earlier this year, has not been in great form having failed to score a fifty in four successive Test matches and was troubled by the seam and swing against New Zealand in World Test Championship final.

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul are the other two openers in the squad and if Gill is ruled out, Easwaran is the likely replacement from the standby list.