Following numerous reports, the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has officially confirmed that Umesh Yadav has been ruled out of the Test series. Umesh picked up an injury during the third day of the Boxing Day Test. And scans revealed a strain in his calf muscles ruling him out of the ongoing Border Gavaskar series. The seasoned quick was starting to gain his rhythm before the strain played spoilsport.
The visitors have named T Natarajan as a replacement in the side for the final two Tests. Having impressed on debut in the limited-overs leg of the Tour, Natarajan will be rearing to don all whites. But a lack of the first-class experience might see him warming the bench for the rest of the tour. The left-arm quick caught the spotlight during IPL 2020 before being named as a net bowler for the Australia tour. And Natarajan hasn’t looked back since.
Shardul Thakur replaces Mohammed Shami
With Umesh being ruled out, India are facing a serious dearth in their fast bowling department. Frontline quick Mohammed Shami too was ruled out of the series earlier. Shami suffered a hairline fracture in his right forearm during the series opener. And Shardul Thakur has been named as his replacement in the side. According to a recent press release, Thakur was in the squad for the Boxing Day Test too.
With the third Test coming up, the selectors are all set to make a hard choice on who should replace Umesh in the playing XI. With three promising quicks in Navdeep Saini, Takur and Natarajan in the side, it will be a tough one. From the looks of it, it is going to be a toss-up between Thakur’s abundant first-class experience and Natarajan’s natural variation.