New Delhi: Senior India pacer Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of next month's two-Test series in New Zealand after sustaining an ankle tear during a Ranji Trophy game, a Delhi state cricket association official said on Tuesday.
Ishant, playing for Delhi, had twisted his ankle on his follow through while bowling against Vidarbha on Monday. The Test series against New Zealand is scheduled to start from 21 February in Wellington.
"Ishant Sharma's MRI report shows a Grade 3 ankle tear and it is serious. He has been advised six weeks of rest and rehabilitation. It is indeed a big blow," DDCA general secretary Vinod Tihara told PTI.
Another DDCA official added: "Luckily there is no fracture. There is an ankle tear. The moment he is in a position to walk, he will travel to NCA."
However, the Indian cricket board is yet to issue a statement on Ishant's injury.
"It's a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in BCCI as we will again do his MRI to ascertain degree of tear and decide on his rehabilitation," a BCCI source said.
Fellow Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini is likely to replace the 96-Test veteran in the Test squad.
Ishant was in the middle of his second Ranji Trophy this season, having played the opening home game against Hyderabad last month.
The 31-year-old is an integral part of arguably India's best ever pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav.
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Instead of blaming the pitch, Joe Root said it was India's 'high quality bowling' that made the difference in the Third Test.
Ishant Sharma is only the second Indian fast bowler after former captain Kapil Dev to play 100 Test matches.
India will take on England in a day-night Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium, the world's largest cricket venue with a seating capacity of 1,10,000, from Wednesday.