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Prithvi Shaw ankle injury a blow to India ahead of 1st test

November 30, 2018
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India's Prithvi Shaw, center, is carried by support staff after rolling his ankle while attempting a catch during their tour cricket match against Cricket Australia XI in Sydney, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY (AP) — India sustained a significant setback ahead of the first cricket test against Australia when young opening batsman Prithvi Shaw was ruled out with a left ankle injury Friday on the third day of a tour match against the Cricket Australia XI.

The 19-year-old Shaw sustained serious ligament damage while attempting a catch on the boundary and, after scans at hospital, was declared unable to play in the first test of the four-test series which begins at Adelaide next Thursday.

Team officials hope he will be fit for the second test at Perth beginning Dec. 14.

Shaw is one of the fast rising stars of India cricket after becoming the youngest India batsman to score a century on test debut during October’s home series against the West Indies.

He was a certainty to open the batting in the first test with either Lokesh Rahul or Murali Vijay and his absence will likely weaken the India team.

Shaw attempted to catch a lofted shot from Max Bryant on the deep mid-wicket boundary. He appeared to have secured the ball but turned his ankle as he tried to stay inside the boundary rope.

He fell to the ground in pain, was assisted from the field and taken to hospital where scans revealed the seriousness of his injury.

“Shaw underwent scans this morning and the reports revealed a lateral ligament injury,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement. “Shaw will be unavailable for the first test against Australia in Adelaide. He will undergo an intensive rehabilitation program to hasten the recovery.”

Shaw was on crutches when he returned to the ground later on the third day. He watched his teammates endure a long day in the field as the Cricket Australia XI reached 356-6 at stumps in reply to India’s first innings of 358.

Mohammed Shami was the best of the India bowlers with 3-67.

Shaw had previously top-scored with 66 in India’s innings. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said Shaw’s injury setback was unfortunate.

“Sad that it happened the first time he came out on the field,” Ashwin said. “He has not spoken much.

“He’s a young boy who has come to play in Australia for the first time, had a dream start to his test career, so it’s hit him pretty hard.

“It’s unfortunate what’s happened, but these things happen. It’s an opportunity for someone else.”

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