India's fringe players Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar turned up for the ECB's 'Select County XI' against their own country in the three-day first-class warm-up match in Durham on Tuesday, after the home team lost players due to injury and COVID-19- related isolation.
Avesh bowled 9.5 overs before sustaining a thumb injury, which looks like dislocation, and is unlikely to take further part in the three-day first-class game.
"The ECB made a request to the Indian team management to let two players from the Indian contingent play for the County Select XI after some of their players were deemed to be unavailable either due to injury or close contacts of a Covid-19 positive person.
"Accordingly, Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan have been made available to play for their team," read a statement from the BCCI.
Washington was seen avoiding the County XI huddle and only fist-bumped the team's bowlers when they took wickets.
Players turning up against their own teams during practice games or warm-ups is not new, and Washington, till the match neared tea time on the first day, wasn't given a chance to bowl as captain Will Rhodes preferred his own team bowlers.
The Indians wore black armbands to mourn the death of India's 1983 World Cup-winning hero Yashpal Sharma, who passed away on July 13 due to cardiac arrest.
The most famous "reserve fielder" was a 14-year-old named Sachin Tendulkar, who, in 1987, fielded for Imran Khan's Pakistan against India during a match at the Brabourne stadium, in Mumbai.
Tendulkar was one of the ball boys and came in as Abdul Qadir was not on the field. Incidentally, he nearly had a hand in Kapil Dev being dismissed but his diving effort did not result in a catch.
Meanwhile, India skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane were rested for the match. Rohit Sharma led the side in their absence.
The BCCI gave an update on Kohli and Rahane sitting out along with Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin.
"Kohli felt some stiffness in his back on late Monday evening and he has been advised rest from the three-day first-class warm-up game by the BCCI Medical Team.
"Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has mild swelling around his left upper hamstring. This has been addressed by an injection. He is not available for the three-day first-class warm-up game," BCCI secretary Jay Shah informed in a media statement.
"However, the BCCI Medical Team is monitoring him (Rahane), and he is expected to fully recover well in time for the first Test against England starting from 4th August at Nottingham," Shah added.
Regular ’keeper Rishabh Pant and senior reserve glovesman Wriddhiman Saha are currently isolating in London after the COVID scare but are expected to join the team before the intra-squad game at the Riverside ground which is tentatively scheduled between July 26-28.
The match provides an opportunity to Hanuma Vihari to score a few runs and keep Rahane under pressure since he hasn't been scoring runs very consistently.
The five-Test series will be an acid test for both Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane.
India XI: Rohit Sharma(captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.