Natarajan added to ODI squad, Ishant ruled out of Tests
Left-arm fast bowler T Natarajan has been added to India's ODI squad as cover for Navdeep Saini. The update came just hours before the series opener against Australia. According to a BCCI media release, Saini had complained of "back spasm". The cricket board also updated that senior fast bowler Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar series. Here is more.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added T Natarajan to India's squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia starting Friday. Navdeep Saini complained of back spasm and Natarajan has been added as a back-up," an official release from the BCCI read.
Natarajan was phenomenal with the ball in the IPL 2020, representing Sunrisers Hyderabad. He made his presence felt in the death overs, having bowled as many as 71 yorkers during this phase. He conceded only 57 off these deliveries at an economy of 4.81. Overall, Natarajan finished as SRH's second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, having scalped 16 at an average of 31.50.
Natarajan was initially among the four additional bowlers for the tour, alongside Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi and Ishan Porel. However, he was roped in as Varun Chakravarthy's replacement in the T20I squad after the leg-spinner was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
In a blow for Team India, speedster Ishant has been ruled out of the Test series, despite recovering completely from his side strain.
It is understood that he is still building up his workload to achieve Test match fitness.
The 32-year-old had been undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) after suffering an abdominal muscle tear during the IPL 2020.
On the other hand, a call has to be taken on Rohit Sharma's availability. As he continues his rehabilitation at the NCA alongside Ishant, he will be next assessed on December 11. After that, the BCCI will take a call on his participation in the Test series. On Thursday, Indian captain Virat Kohli lamented the lack of communication regarding Rohit's recovery.