KL Rahul has been ruled out of India’s upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand, starting in Kanpur on 25 November, the BCCI announced on Tuesday.

Rahul, opening with Rohit Sharma, was in good form in England during the Test series. With Rohit rested for both the matches, India will have a new opening pair during Rahul Dravid’s first assignment as head coach in the longest format.

“KL Rahul has sustained a muscle strain on his left thigh and has been ruled out of the upcoming two- match series against New Zealand. He will now undergo rehabilitation at NCA in preparation for the series against South Africa scheduled next month,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Suryakumar Yadav as KL Rahul’s replacement.

Rahul was missing from the Indian team’s customary practice session, attended by almost all the players on Tuesday at the Green Park stadium, PTI had reported earlier, saying the right-hander was set to miss the first Test at least.

Shubman Gill was seen opening the batting along with Mayank Agarwal during the team’s net session as Cheteshwar Pujara, the vice captain for the series-opener, also batted. It is understood that one among Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav will make his Test debut and bat in the middle order, added the PTI report.

The 29-year-old Rahul has featured in 40 Tests, scoring 2321 runs at an average of 35.16. His highest score was 199 that came against England in Chennai in 2016. He was India’s second highest run-getter in the suspended four-match series in England, behind only Rohit, with 315 runs from 8 innings that included a half century and a century.

India’s Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain for first Test), Virat Kohli (will join squad for second Test and lead), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna

IND-NZ schedule

Date Match Venue
25th Nov 2021 1st Test Kanpur
3rd Dec 2021 2nd Test Mumbai

Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, and Mohammed Shami are among the regulars not named in the squad for the two-match series against New Zealand that starts 25 November in Kanpur. The second Test starts on December 3 and will be played in Mumbai for which Virat Kohli will be back to lead the side.

The series is part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championships and features the two sides that took part in the inaugural edition’s final earlier this year. India have already opened their account with the series in England while this will be defending champions New Zealand first assignment of the current edition.

With PTI inputs