Injured Ishant ruled out of third Test
Man of the Match in the historic Lord's Test win, India's pace spearhead Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the third Test versus England with an ankle injury.
The news about Ishant's omission from the playing XI broke just ahead of the toss, when Pankaj Singh was handed his Test cap by former skipper Sourav Ganguly.
After the second Test in Lord's, where Ishant took career best figures of 7-74 to help India to a 95-run victory, skipper M S Dhoni had raised some concerns about his fitness after the medium pacer had bowled a long match-winning spell.
But in the first two days of practice leading up to the match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, there were no hints that Ishant was nursing an injury. He didn't bowl on Friday and it was hinted that he was just recovering from the physical exertions of the second Test.
Ishant did bowl in the nets on Saturday, a day ahead of the Test, and was reportedly seen walking off midway through the practice session with an ice-pack on his left ankle.
The team management though denied all speculations of a fitness issue.
Even during the press conference, when asked about his bowling attack composition, Dhoni did not mention that there were any concerns regarding Ishant's availability for this match. Then, on the morning of the Test, he was ruled out of the game.
Image: Ishant Sharma
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images