Shortly after making history in the longest form of cricket, experienced spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had to leave Team India’s Test squad for the rest of the third match against England. Jay Shah, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), confirmed Ashwin’s departure due to a family medical emergency.

Although the BCCI didn’t give details, they expressed support for Ashwin and his family during this difficult time. Ashwin won’t be available for the 4th and 5th Tests against England. He became the second Indian bowler, after Anil Kumble, to take 500 Test wickets during the Rajkot Test.

What happens when a player gets injured?

With Ashwin out, India will play the 3rd Test with 10 players and four bowlers. According to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), umpires can allow a substitute fielder if a player gets injured during the match. However, the substitute can’t bowl or captain the team but can keep wickets with the umpires’ consent. Since Ashwin wasn’t injured during the game, India can only have a substitute fielder with the approval of England’s captain, Ben Stokes.

Can India replace Ashwin with someone who can bat and bowl?

No, the rules only allow a complete replacement if a player suffers a concussion injury on the field. Even if Ashwin had another injury, India couldn’t have picked a replacement. Only players with a concussion can bat and bowl.

Ashwin’s achievement

Ashwin took the wicket of Zak Crawley during the 3rd Test, becoming the third off-spinner to take 500 Test wickets. He’s India’s second-highest wicket-taker after Anil Kumble.

Did you know?

Ashwin is the second-fastest to reach 500 Test wickets after Muttiah Muralitharan. He achieved this milestone in 25,714 balls, second only to Glenn McGrath. Ashwin is also the second-oldest player to reach 500 Test wickets.

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Who will replace Ashwin?

If Ashwin misses the 4th Test, India can include Washington Sundar as a replacement. Other spin-bowling options outside the Test squad include Jayant Yadav, Jalaj Saxena, and Pulkit Narang. India will play the remaining two Tests against England in Ranchi (Feb 25-29) and Dharamsala (March 7-11).