Injured Indian opener Rahul out of New Zealand series

KANPUR (AFP) - India’s opening batsman K.L. Rahul has been ruled out of the two-Test series against New Zealand due to injury, the cricket board said Tuesday.

Rahul, who has scored 2,321 runs from 40 Test matches, will be replaced by rookie Suryakumar Yadav, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a news release ahead of the first Test in Kanpur starting on Thursday.

Rahul, who has a muscle strain in his left thigh, "will now undergo rehabilitation at NCA (National Cricket Academy) in preparation for the series against South Africa scheduled next month", the board said.

India, looking to avenge their defeat to New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in June, are also without Rahul’s opening partner Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli, both of whom have been rested.

Kohli will however return for the second and final Test to be played in Mumbai from December 3.

Indian squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, K.S. Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna