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News

Rahul picks up hand injury - 'hopefully he'll be okay,' says Rathour

In case Rahul can't play in Dhaka Test, vice-captain Pujara could lead India, and Abhimanyu could be in line for a debut

KL Rahul is the senior opening batter in the India Test side in Rohit Sharma's absence  •  AFP/Getty Images

KL Rahul is the senior opening batter in the India Test side in Rohit Sharma's absence  •  AFP/Getty Images

India could be without both their first-choice openers in the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka, with KL Rahul taking a blow to his hand while batting in the nets on the eve of the match. While India batting coach Vikram Rathour indicated on Wednesday that Rahul's injury wasn't serious, he did not confirm whether he is certain to start the match.
"It doesn't [look serious]," Rathour said in his pre-match press conference. "He seems to be fine. Hopefully he'll be okay. The doctors are looking at it, but hopefully he'll be okay."
Rathour, incidentally, was delivering throwdowns to Rahul when he took the blow to his hand towards the end of his nets session. He was seen rubbing the injured area, and was attended to by the team doctor.
Rahul is also India's captain in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who missed the first Test in Chattogram and was also ruled out of the Dhaka Test, having failed to recover fully from a thumb injury that he picked up during the ODI series that preceded the Tests.
If Rahul is unavailable on Thursday, vice-captain Cheteshwar Pujara will likely take over the captaincy. Rahul's place at the top of the order, meanwhile, could go to a debutant in Abhimanyu Easwaran, who initially came into the squad as Rohit's standby.
Abhimanyu's selection came on the back of a prolific India A tour of Bangladesh. Having just come off a 50-overs century for Bengal against Services in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Abhimanyu made back-to-back hundreds in the four-day games against Bangladesh A in Cox's Bazar and Sylhet.
The blow to Rahul's hand is the latest in a series of injuries India have suffered in recent weeks.
Jasprit Bumrah is a long-term absentee with a stress fracture of the back, while as many as seven players were ruled out of the ODI series at various points - including first-choice Test players Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami.
India lost that ODI series 2-1, and lead the two-Test series 1-0 after a 188-run win in Chattogram.