Indian cricket team which is currently preparing for the South Africa challenge in full swing in Cape Town has been handed a big blow with Ravindra Jadeja suffering from illness ahead of the first Test. The left-arm spinner could be sidelined from the Cape Town test as he is currently being monitored by the BCCI medical team in South Africa, confirmed an official BCCI statement. Jadeja has been suffering from “viral illness” for the last two days, according to a BCCI release.

“The BCCI Medical Team in consultation with the local medical team has decided that Mr Jadeja will be taken to a hospital for treatment and expects him to fully recover in the next 48 hrs. A decision on his availability for selection for the opening Test against South Africa will be taken on the morning of the match i.e. 5th January 2018,” the statement detailed. Jadeja absence can be a significant blow for India on both the batting and the bowling front.

If Ravindra Jadeja fails to make it into the playing eleven for the Cape Town Test, Ravichandran Ashwin will be stepping up most likely to don the role of the solo specialist spinner. Earlier skipper Virat Kohli had hinted that the spinner selection will be based on the right-hand, left-hand combination of the opposition team. South Africa only have two left-handers in their line-up which suggested that Jadeja was the preferable choice for the first Test. However, Ashwin would like to grab the opportunity by both hands.

Meanwhile, the BCCI statement also mentioned that Shikhar Dhawan is fit for the first Test and is likely to open the innings along with Murali Vijay. He had picked a minor ankle injury while practising in Indian but has now recovered fully and is rearing to prove his steel at the top. India have three options for the opening batting roles. Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul are the other two openers in the squad. India will square off against the Proteas in the all-important series with the first Test starting from January 5 in Cape Town. Virat Kohli’s men will play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20s in the tour.

India squad for the three-match Test series: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

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