Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
Delhi Capitals fast bowler Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of IPL 2020 with an abdominal muscle tear. Sharma had suffered a back spasm while training in the UAE before the start of the IPL last month and played just one match for the Capitals, against Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 29. The Capitals are understood to have sought a replacement for him.
A release from the Capitals said Sharma had initially complained of an "acute episode of left rib cage pain" while bowling at a team training session on October 7. Later, Sharma was found to have a muscle tear in one of his abdominal muscles on the left side.
"Delhi Capitals fast bowler Ishant Sharma experienced an acute episode of left rib cage pain while bowling at a team training session on 7 October 2020 in Dubai. Subsequent investigations revealed that he sustained a left internal oblique muscle tear. This injury will unfortunately rule him out of the remainder of the Dream11 Indian Premier League 2020," the Capitals release said.
Sharma bowled three overs against the Sunrisers for a wicketless 26 runs. His injury adds to the Capitals' worries as they already lost legspinner Amit Mishra with a finger injury earlier, and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is also out for a week with a hamstring issue.
The Capitals currently have Kagiso Rabada, Harshal Patel, Mohit Sharma, Avesh Khan and Tushar Deshpande as their pace-bowling options. Their next game is against the Rajasthan Royals on October 14 and they play another two games after that within the next eight days.
Injury concern for Indian selectors
Sharma's injury also has wider implications considering India are scheduled to travel to Australia for a complete tour including a four-Test series to be played in December-January. The Indian selectors are likely to pick the squads soon as they wait for the official itinerary to be released by Cricket Australia.
Sharma is three matches short of becoming only the second Indian fast bowler to play 100 Test matches after Kapil Dev. Sharma is the second India fast bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar to be ruled out of this IPL with an injury.
Sharma took a five-for in the last Test he played - against New Zealand in the first Test in Wellington - but missed the second with an ankle injury.