Ravichandran Ashwin, the India offspinner, is set to miss IPL 2017 for Rising Pune Supergiant because of a sports hernia. Ashwin is likely to be out of action for six to eight weeks, but is expected to regain full fitness ahead of India’s title defence at the Champions Trophy in June.
Even Murali Vijay is also going to miss the entire IPL 2017. He is likely to take time off because of a wrist and shoulder injury that he has played with for a better part of India’s home season which forced him to sit out of the IPL. Both are the two main pillars of the Indian Test team, are likely to miss the entire IPL 2017.
Murali Vijay, who took over the captaincy from David Miller for the Kings XI Punjab in last year’s IPL, was removed as captain before the start of IPL 2017. He was replaced by Glenn Maxwell for this edition.
Ashwin has been one of the most successful bowlers in the IPL, one of only seven players to have picked up more than 100 wickets across all seasons. He had a not so impressive IPL with the Pune franchise last year, managing to pick 10 wickets from 14 games.
Ashwin first picked up the injury immediately after the Test series against England in December. In the aftermath, he withdrew from Tamil Nadu’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Karnataka.
During the period, Ashwin bowled 738.2 overs – the most ever by a bowler in a Test season – and picked up a record 82 wickets. Along with Ravindra Jadeja, Ashwin claimed 153 wickets at an average of 24.14 to become the most successful bowling pair in a season.
Rising Pune Supergiants opted for a change in captaincy this time as well, replacing MS Dhoni with Steve Smith for the role. Ashwin has played under Dhoni in all the seasons of the IPL, first for the Chennai Super Kings, and later for the Rising Pune Supergiant last year. Ashwin, who had a stellar season at home, picking as many as 82 wickets, bowled more than 4000 deliveries across all the Tests, making it a tiring season for him.
As Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were also ruled out for at least part of the IPL 2017, as both of whom are suffering from shoulder injuries. The Indian captain sustained the injury while fielding during the Ranchi Test, deeming him unfit for the decider at Dharamsala.