Mohali, Nov 26: There is never a shortage of secrecy from the Indian cricket team. And it was yet again on view on Saturday morning (November 26) here at the IS Bindra Stadium before the start of the 3rd Test against England.
Going into the match with a 1-0 lead after a 246-run thrashing of the visitors in the previous Test in Visakhapatnam, India not only lost the toss but also their opener KL Rahul due to injury. However, the injury to Rahul was maintained a secret till the toss.
Many were shocked to know that Rahul was ruled out again when captain Virat Kohli announced at the toss that the Karnataka batsman had "exaggerated" his injury.
A hamstring injury had kept him out of the opening Test in Rajkot and also previously the series against New Zealand.
Later, an official statement from the Indian team said, "KL Rahul sustained a blow to his left forearm while fielding in Vizag. Injury got exaggerated in the nets. He feels uncomfortable while batting. BCCI medical team advised him rest to fully recover."
Prior to the toss, those at the ground were witness to Karun Nair being handed over his India cap by former skipper Sunil Gavaskar. It was a hint that one of the players was injured.
It was only after losing the toss did Ravi Shastri ask Kohli about injuries to the team and the captain revealed about Rahul's absence.
The point here is why is the Indian team management hiding about injury to a particular player. Rahul was reportedly injured during the net session yesterday (November 25) and nobody had a clue.
The Indian selectors had dropped specialist opener Gautam Gambhir from the squad and the team is now left to open with wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who has returned after 8 years. Rahul was drafted into the squad for 2nd Test and he had taken Gambhir's place in the Playing XI.
This is not the first time the selectors and team management have goofed up. First they announced the squad for the remaining 3 Tests against England, adding Bhuvneshwar Kumar and removing Gambhir. But next morning we hear that Wriddhiman Saha is injured and in comes Parthiv.
What werre the selectors doing the previous day when they picked the squad? Were they not aware of Saha's injury? Many questions remain unanswered.
Secrecy is the name of the game in Indian cricket team.