A thumb injury sustained in the IPL has ruled India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha out of playing their Test match against Afghanistan in Bengaluru on June 14. Dinesh Karthik has been picked as replacement, ahead of Parthiv Patel.
Having been struck on his right thumb by a Shivam Mavi bouncer on May 25, Saha faces an estimated recovery period of five to six weeks. He also missed six games for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL because of a shoulder niggle. The first Test in England starts on August 1 at Edgbaston.
During India's previous Test assignment in South Africa, both Parthiv and Karthik were added to the squad after Saha was sidelined with a hamstring niggle. It was Parthiv who was brought into the XI for the second and third Tests, but he managed only 56 runs in four innings. He had a particularly poor game in Centurion: dropped two catches and failed to attempt a third regulation chance.
Karthik is set to play his first Test since 2010 and 24th overall since his debut in 2004. More recently, he captained Kolkata Knight Riders to the IPL playoffs and was the top-scorer for the side with 498 runs in 16 innings at an average of nearly 50 and strike rate of nearly 150.
Updated India squad: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur