India’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy is battling for fitness as Virat Kohli and Co. prepare to face Scotland in Dubai on Friday. Chakravarthy’s fitness issues cropped up as he was ruled out of India’s T20 World Cup game against Afghanistan on Wednesday. In Chakravarthy’s absence, Ravichandran Ashwin made it to the playing XI for the game against Afghanistan.
“Varun Chakravarthy has a left calf issue. He was not available for selection for this game,” a BCCI media statement said. The mystery spinner failed to get a single wicket in the two games that he played and was likely to be benched for the Afghanistan clash, irrespective of the injury. Following Ashwin’s return to form, Chakravarthy is unlikely to return to the XI, but nonetheless underwent a fitness test during an optional practice session on the eve of the game.
Just In: CV Varun undergoing a fitness test before the game against Scotland on Friday.#INDvSCO #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/bD3YfSDTrw
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 4, 2021
While the Indian squad decided to skip the optional training session on Diwali, the spinner underwent fitness drills under the watchful eyes of physio Nitin Patel and assistant strength and conditioning coach Soham Desai. A left calf issue had seen him miss Wednesday’s game against Afghanistan and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was drafted into the XI. The experienced campaigner made it a night to remember as he finished with two wickets and was impressive as he bowled in partnership with Ravindra Jadeja.
Commenting on returning to the white-ball team, Ravichandran Ashwin said: “The news I got selected for the World Cup was very heartening news. I had fun after hearing the news in terms of enjoying myself and gratification from what I wanted to achieve in life. That was one side of it, I had a special dream of being there in the World Cup and doing special things for the team.
Ashwin added, “Two losses I did feel a bit low about it, it is never special when you lose games, the chances of qualification did take a dent, but after yesterday’s win, we have our fingers crossed and hope things go right. Everything I wanted to execute yesterday, fell into place,” he added.
Indian side would hope to register a comprehensive victory to further boost their net run rate in order to remain in the hunt for the qualification for the semi-finals.
Scotland is yet to register a victory in the Super 12 stage but they cannot be taken lightly as they gave New Zealand a run for their money on Wednesday. Chasing 173, Scotland fell just 16 runs short, so the Men in Blue need to bring their A-game to register a big win against the Scots.
INDIA VS SCOTLAND – Likely Playing XI
India: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Scotland: 1 George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer (capt), 3 Calum MacLeod, 4 Richie Berrington, 5 Michael Leask, 6 Matthew Cross (wk), 7 Chris Greaves, 8 Mark Watt, 9 Safyaan Sharif, 10 Alasdair Evans, 11 Brad Wheal
Fast bowler Josh Davey has been ruled out of Scotland’s final two games by a groin injury with batter Michael Jones added to the squad in his place.