Brisbane Test: A look at India's probable XI
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah was recently ruled out of the upcoming Gabba Test with an abdominal strain. The news of injury came hours after a dislocated thumb has forced marquee all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to miss the final Test. Additionally, India will also be sweating over the fitness of several other players as the injury woes continue. We analyze India's probable XI for the Brisbane Test.
List of injured/unfit players (India): Jasprit Bumrah (abdominal strain), Ravindra Jadeja (dislocated thumb), Hanuma Vihari (hamstring), Ravichandran Ashwin (back spasm), Rishabh Pant (elbow), KL Rahul (wrist sprain), Umesh Yadav (calf muscle), Mohammed Shami (fracture).
Bumrah is the third senior pacer who has gotten injured after Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. In Bumrah's absence, left-arm pacer T. Natarajan will likely be the third seamer besides Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. The pace reserves also include Shardul Thakur, who might be looked upon. It is understood that all-rounder Washington Sundar could make his Test debut if Ashwin remains unfit.
Although the Gabba track has a history of assisting fast bowlers, leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav might also receive a Test call-up. After all, he is the only specialist spinner after Ashwin in the squad. He could perfectly fit in if Ashwin doesn't prove his fitness. Meanwhile, the lack of resources might also present the out-of-form Prithvi Shaw an opportunity to make a comeback.
It is interesting to note that legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne owns most wickets at the Gabba (68 wickets from 11 Tests). For India, former off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna leads the wickets tally in Brisbane (8 wickets from 2 Tests).
Middle-order batsman Vihari will be out for quite a while, owing to the hamstring injury. In this case, the experienced Wriddhiman Saha is likely to be roped in. If this happens, Saha will certainly don the gloves, considering his experience behind the wickets overseas. Meanwhile, Pant, who appears to have recovered from his elbow injury will likely play as a specialist batsman.
India's playing XI for Brisbane Test: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav/Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, T. Natarajan.