India suffered a big blow Friday with young batting phenomenon Prithvi Shaw ruled out of the opening Test against Australia after injuring his ankle trying to take a catch.
The 19-year-old, who scored a sparkling debut century against the West Indies in October, landed awkwardly near the Sydney Cricket Ground boundary in attempting to grab a big hit from Cricket Australia XI opener Max Bryant.
Pictures showed his left ankle bending 90 degrees inward underneath him as he tumbled to the ground.
Medical staff rushed to help him off the field, before he was taken to hospital for checks. He later returned to the ground on crutches.
“Shaw underwent scans this morning and the reports revealed a lateral ligament injury,” Indian cricket’s governing body, the BCCI, said in a statement.
“Shaw will be unavailable for the first Test against Australia in Adelaide.
“He will undergo an intensive rehabilitation program to hasten the recovery and be available for selection at the earliest.”
The news is a major setback for the visitors ahead of the opening Test in the South Australian capital next week.
The right-hander, who scored a boundary-laden 66 on Thursday, has been compared to Sachin Tendulkar. He became the youngest Indian to score a century on Test debut last month.
Shaw was set to open the batting alongside either KL Rahul or Murali Vijay. His absence could also open the door for either Shikhar Dhawan, who was dropped after India’s tour of England, or uncapped Mayank Agarwal.
The injury marred the third day’s play in India’s only warm-up match before the first of four Tests.
The opening day was washed out and India made 358 on day two, with five of their batsmen making 50s against an inexperienced attack. In reply, the CA XI were 288-6 heading into the final hour of play.