All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of India's upcoming T20I and ODI series against Australia.
Pandya had earlier suffered a lower-back injury during the Asia Cup match against Pakistan and had to be stretchered off the field.
Meanwhile, Hardik will undergo strength and conditioning training at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru from next week. Ravindra Jadeja has been named his replacement for the ODI series while no one will replace Pandya in the T20Is.
After missing the subsequent series against West Indies at home, Pandya returned to action during a first-class match for Baroda against Mumbai in December. "Those 20-30 runs made all the difference today", head coach Ravi Shastri spoke about the all-rounder after the 5th ODI match against New Zealand.
Pandya had suffered a lower-back injury during the Asia Cup match against Pakistan past year and had to be stretchered off the field. In his absence, Vijay Shankar will remain the sole bowling all-rounder in India's 14-member T20I squad.
Both Pandya and Rahul still face an inquiry for their controversial comments.
In Pandya's absence, Vijay Shankar is the lone seam-bowling all-rounder in India's T20 squad and is likely to get a few overs with India not utilising his bowling services during the New Zealand T20s. He played three ODIs as well as three T20Is against the Blackcaps. "Mr. Ravindra Jadeja has been named replacement for Hardik Pandya for the 5 ODIs", further added the statement.
The home series against Australia will be India's last assignment before the 2019 World Cup.
The first T20I between India and Australia will take place on February 24 in Visakhapatnam. The five ODIs will be staged in Hyderabad (March 2), Nagpur (March 5), Ranchi (March 8), Mohali (March 10) and Delhi (March 13).