Australia vs India: T Natarajan to replace injured Umesh Yadav
Team India is set to replace the injured Umesh Yadav with left-arm pacer T Natarajan for the remaining two Test matches against Australia. Natarajan, who made his debut for India in the limited-overs series against Australia in the ongoing tour, gets a deserved call as Umesh's replacement. Umesh was earlier ruled out of the series following an injury in the second Test.
The Indian cricket team was handed a blow after Umesh sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. He underwent scans later in the day. Umesh will not recover completely ahead of the remaining two Test matches and was ruled out of the series.
Ahead of the Boxing Day Test, right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur was added to the Test squad as Mohammed Shami's replacement after the senior player suffered a hairline fracture in his right forearm. Both Shami and Umesh will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further rehabilitation of their injuries. Prior to the series, Ishant Sharma was also ruled out with an injury.
Thakur could replace Umesh in the starting XI for the third Test. He is likely to form a three-pace attack alongside Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. Siraj made his Test debut at the MCG and impressed at large. India will hope that Siraj and Thakur support Bumrah in the absence of three senior pacers. Meanwhile, India also have Navdeep Saini in the squad.
Natarajan has played one ODI for India, claiming 2/70 on his debut. He played a prominent role in the T20Is next, helping India win 2-1. In three T20Is, Natarajan has racked up six scalps at an impressive average of 13.83. Meanwhile, he has played 20 First-Class games, taking 64 scalps at 27.03.
Team India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan.