Ajinkya Rahane will play no further part in IPL 2022, a hamstring injury he picked up during Kolkata Knight Riders' previous match, against Sunrisers Hyderabad, putting him out of action for the time being.
The injury also puts him in doubt for the Ranji Trophy knockouts, starting June 4 in Bengaluru.
Rahane had one of his brighter starts in the game against Sunrisers, scoring 28 in 24 balls with three sixes, but looked in discomfort while taking singles. He was seen clutching his hamstring and the team physio also went out to tend to him at the end of the powerplay overs. He continued to hobble, though, before being dismissed in the eighth over by Umran Malik.
On the whole, it hasn't been a particularly happy IPL 2022 for Rahane, who finished with 133 runs from seven innings at an average of 19.00 and strike rate of 103.90.
His best innings came in Knight Riders' first game, the tournament-opener against Chennai Super Kings, when he scored 44 in 34 balls in a six-wicket win for his team. He played the next four matches, but returns of 9, 12, 7 and 8 meant a month-long layoff, as Knight Riders shuffled through their opening options, before returning to the Rahane-Venkatesh Iyer combination against Mumbai Indians on May 9.
Venkatesh (43) and Rahane (25) put together a 60-run first-wicket partnership to help Knight Riders win by 52 runs. The win over Sunrisers in the next match, the last Knight Riders have played so far, have kept them in the race for the playoffs, but only just.
In Rahane's absence, Knight Riders have options in Aaron Finch, B Indrajith, Sam Billings and Sunil Narine, all of whom opened during the period Rahane was dropped, to partner Venkatesh at the top.
Knight Riders had earlier lost the services of Pat Cummins, who flew back home to Australia before their last game because of a hip injury. Around the start of the tournament, Alex Hales had opted out citing bubble fatigue, which led to Knight Riders roping in Finch as a replacement.
Knight Riders' next game, their last in the IPL 2022 league stage, will be against Lucknow Super Giants on Wednesday at DY Patil Stadium.