India off-spinner Washington Sundar's return to international cricket has been further delayed as the youngster has sustained an injury on his left shoulder which has ruled him out from the impending three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Tuesday named his replacement for the Zimbabwe tour, as Shahbaz Ahmed earned his maiden India call-up.
27-year-old batting allrounder has become an impactful cricketer in domestic level and in Indian Premier League, where he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore. In batting average in List A is 47.28 while his bowling average is 39.20. Having joined the RCB team in 2020, Shahbaz has shown improvement as a batter with his strike rate improving from a run-a-ball rate of over 120 now and at an average of 27.38. He also picked by 13 wickets in 22 innings for RCB so far at an economy rate of 8.58.
Sundar was initially named in the squad for the ODI series but his participation was under doubt after he incurred an injury during a 50-over game for his county side Lancashire, hence adding to his injury-ladden 12 months. The talented spin bowling all rounder from Tamil Nadu has missed one series after another since July 2021 due to various types of injuries as well as Covid-19 related issue.
"Yes, Washington Sundar is ruled out of the Zimbabwe series. He has suffered an injury on his left shoulder while fielding during Royal London Cup game between Lancashire and Worcestershire at Old Trafford. He will have to undergo rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy," a senior BCCI source had told PTI on conditions of anonymity on Monday.
"You feel for Washi. Such a talented guy. Somehow or the other, the rub of the green isn't going his way. He needs some luck. The latest injury is a freak one as he was just about to play for India in a week," another official privy to the development said.