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Injured South Africa spinner Maharaj ruled out of final test

FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka v South Africa - Second Test Match - Colombo, Sri Lanka - July 20, 2018 - South Africa's Keshav Maharaj waves at fans after taking eight wickets on the first day. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

MUMBAI (Reuters) - South Africa left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has been ruled out of the third and final test against India at Ranchi due to a shoulder injury, the country’s cricket board said on Sunday.

Maharaj injured his right shoulder while fielding during the second day of the second test at Pune but managed to bat in both innings for the touring side, scoring a gritty maiden half-century in the first innings.

South Africa said the bowler had been assessed ahead of the fourth day’s play and MRI results showed he would not be fit in time for the final test starting on Saturday.

“An MRI scan revealed that Keshav has sustained an injury to a muscle in his right shoulder which was strapped in order for him to bat yesterday,” South Africa team doctor Ramjee Hashendra said in a statement.

“He was re-assessed this morning, particularly with regards to bowling, and he showed significant discomfort in this latter discipline.

“The nature and extent of the injury would mean that he will probably return to play in 14 to 21 days based on his progress during the rehabilitation phase.”

South Africa named uncapped left-arm spinner George Linde as the replacement for Maharaj.

India crushed South Africa by an innings and 137 runs inside four days in the second test at Pune to clinch the three-test series with a match to spare.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Clare Fallon