India’s long and very successful Test season has taken its toll on the players, and the Indian Premier League 2017 will likely have to do without many of the key performers for varying lengths of time.
Virat Kohli is, of course, more or less ruled out of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s first few games of the season because of the shoulder injury that kept him out of the last Test against Australia in Dharamsala, and Bangalore are also going to be without KL Rahul for the entire duration of the tournament as he gets his injured shoulder operated upon in London sometime soon.
AB de Villiers, as confirmed by Daniel Vettori, the Bangalore coach, will lead the team in Kohli’s absence. Bangalore begin their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the defending champions, on the opening day of the tournament on April 5.
Them aside, as reported by Wisden India during the Dharamsala Test, R Ashwin and M Vijay are likely to miss the entire tournament, and both Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav are set to sit out the early stages of their team’s campaigns – most probably for the first three weeks.
Vijay, who has been replaced as Kings XI Punjab captain by Glenn Maxwell, needs some running repairs, especially on the wonky shoulder because of which he was out of action after the final Test against England in Chennai in December. He was also forced to miss the second Test against Australia in Bangalore for the same reason.
Missing in action
First few games
Virat Kohli – Bangalore
Ravindra Jadeja – Gujarat
Umesh Yadav – Kolkata
KL Rahul – Bangalore
R Ashwin – Pune
M Vijay – Punjab
Ashwin and Jadeja, both of whom ended up bowling well upwards of 4000 deliveries during the long Test season, are also in need of rest.
Ashwin, who underwent scans in Mumbai on Wednesday after the conclusion of the Dharamsala Test, might sit out the entire campaign for Rising Pune Supergiant, to be led by Steven Smith, who took charge after MS Dhoni was removed from the post, while Jadeja should return for at least a part of Gujarat Lions’ fixtures.
Umesh, who spearheaded India’s pace attack in 12 of the 13 Tests, toiling away on mostly unresponsive pitches for 30 wickets, should also stay away from Kolkata Knight Riders’ first few games of the season.
Apart from Vijay, all the others are likely to feature in the Indian squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy, to be played in England and Wales from June 1, 11 days after the final of the IPL on May 21.