India allrounder Washington Sundar is in doubt for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in Harare, which kicks off on August 18. Washington had injured his left shoulder while diving in the infield to stop a drive during his county stint with Lancashire on August 10.
He landed awkwardly in the eighth over of Lancashire's 50-overs Royal London Cup fixture against Worcestershire at Old Trafford and immediately left the field clutching his left shoulder. ESPNcricinfo understands that his shoulder was sore at that point, which forced him to take no further part in the match.
Washington is still feeling some discomfort in his shoulder and has hence been left out of Lancashire's 13-member squad that will face Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in a top-of-the-table Group B clash on Sunday.
Washington's original plan was to play Sunday's game for Lancashire and then link up with the rest of India's ODI squad that departed for Harare on Saturday morning.
The shoulder injury is the latest setback for Washington in his quest for an India comeback. In February, he had missed India's T20Is at home against West Indies and Sri Lanka because of a hamstring injury. During his IPL stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad earlier this year, he had hurt his webbing twice and played just nine games for his new franchise, scoring 101 runs and taking six wickets. At the time, Tom Moody, Sunrisers' head coach, pointed out that the injuries to Washington and T Natarajan shook up the balance of the XI.
In January 2022, he was sidelined from India's ODI tour of South Africa after testing positive for Covid-19. Prior to that, he had missed the 20-overs Syed Mushtaq Ali competition for his state side Tamil Nadu.
VVS Laxman, the former India batter and the current NCA chief, will head India's coaching staff in Zimbabwe in the absence of regular coach Rahul Dravid who has been given a break, ahead of the 20-overs Asia Cup, which begins on August 20 in the UAE.
The ODI series, India's first in Zimbabwe since 2016, is part of the ICC ODI Super League. All three games will be played at the Harare Sports Club.
With inputs from Matt Roller