With Rahul ruled out of the England trip due to a groin injury, India captain Rohit Sharma is scrambling to prepare for the fifth and final Test, which will be played at Edgbaston from July 1 to 5. When the series was postponed before the last Test last year owing to many Covid instances in the visitors’ camp, India was 2-1 ahead.

Rahul had been receiving rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy, but as his recuperation did not proceed as planned, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that the batsman will be treated in Germany later this month. He has been out of cricket since the Indian Premier League (IPL) last month due to injury. After being chosen captain, he was also ruled out of the T20I series against South Africa.

It’s a setback for India’s hopes against England, forcing them to rethink their batting lineup. Rahul, the Indian opener, was instrumental in India’s victories in the two Tests and dominance in the draw in the first. He scored 84 and 26 in the series opener before securing victory in the second Test at Lord’s with a magnificent 129. After India surrendered a large first-inning advantage in the fourth Test, he spearheaded the recovery with an 83-run partnership with Sharma.

The first set of Test players has arrived in London. The immediate worry will be deciding who would be Sharma’s partner. Unless the selectors announce a substitute, it seems like the management would choose Shubman Gill from the current squad, who was in the initial team for the England series but was ruled out due to a shin injury, and Rahul was selected instead.