Praveen Kumar, the India medium-pacer, has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI series against West Indies as well as the Tests in Australia because of a fractured rib. Praveen had a scan on Monday that revealed the fracture and is expected to be out for five to six weeks. A replacement will be named on December 5 for the Tests in Australia.
The Indian selectors, who had meetings on consecutive days last week to pick squads for the ODIs against West Indies and the Tests in Australia, had included Praveen for both series. But the BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale informed Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, on Sunday afternoon that Praveen had suffered from a 'blunt chest'. Karnataka fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun was immediately appointed as a replacement.
According to the original BCCI media release sent on Monday evening, Praveen had been ruled out only for the first three ODIs of the West Indies series. This came after Virender Sehwag, the stand-in India captain, had said on the eve of the Cuttack ODI that Praveen would be available for the second match on December 3 as he was suffering from "a niggle".
It is understood the selectors were not aware of Praveen's original injury when they had picked him in the squads for the two series. "On the day of the selection, if there is no adverse fitness report then you assume they are fit," a BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. "If you have not reported you are unfit you are assumed to be fit." According to him the turn of events in Praveen's case caught the selection committee completely by surprise. "The selectors only came to know a day after the Mumbai Test (which ended three days ago)."
This is the second time in 2011 that Praveen has missed an important series because of an injury. Earlier this year a tennis elbow kept him out of the World Cup. Though he suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the England tour, he was India's best bowler in the Pataudi Trophy. The elbow injury troubled him again after the Twenty20 match against England in Kolkata on October 29. Consequently Praveen asked the Indian board for a two-week break. He then played in a Ranji Trophy match for Uttar Pradesh against Saurashtra in Meerut earlier this month to show his fitness.
The earlier story reporting Praveen Kumar's unavailability for the first three ODIs was updated at 11.00 GMT on November 29.