Ravichandran Ashwin and Murali Vijay, the two main pillars of the Indian Test team, are likely to miss the entire IPL 2017. Ashwin, who is suffering from sports hernia, underwent scans in Mumbai after the final Test of the India-Australia series in Dharamsala. On the other hand, opener Murali Vijay is likely to take time off to heal his shoulder, which forced him to sit out of the Bangalore Test against Australia.
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.
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.
While Murali Vijay isn’t part of Team India’s scheme of things in the limited overs format (he last played for the ODI team in 2015), Ashwin is likely to be back in the ODI team for the Champions Trophy that is scheduled to begin on June 1, just a week after the conclusion of the tournament. Keeping in mind the load on the players, the BCCI wouldn’t want their key players to be afflicted with niggles when the ICC tournament starts.
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.
Just like Ashwin, Murali Vijay was a vital cog in the Chennai Superkings till 2013, before shifting boats, first to Delhi Daredevils, and later with the Kings XI Punjab.
Earlier, 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.