The Indian cricket team, currently trailing the two-match Test series in New Zealand by 1-nil, received a major blow to their expectations of leveling the series on Friday.
India’s spearhead bowler in Tests, Ishant Sharma, is all set to miss out on the action in the second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, due to an ankle injury.
Ishant was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the first Test match with figures of 5 for 68. According to reports from Cricbuzz, the lanky Indian pace bowler did not take part during the net sessions before the upcoming Test match, starting on Saturday, February 29.
In the absence of Ishant, fast bowler Umesh Yadav, in all likelihood, will feature in the lineup along with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. The Delhi pace bowler suffered the same injury back in January, earlier this year.
After picking up his fifer, Sharma did not appear delighted, claiming that he did not sleep well in two days and was asked to feature in the Test match at Wellington.
Yadav last featured in an away test match back in 2018, during the Perth Test match, where India fielded a four-pronged pace attack, along with Ishant, Shami, and Bumrah.
The Vidarbha pacer held an impressive record in the home season for India in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, where he clinched as many as 23 wickets in 4 games, at an astounding average of 13.65.
However, his record in Test matches abroad may be disconcerting for the Indian fans. Yadav picked up 46 wickets in 17 matches with a marginal average of 42.19.
Ishant’s absence means India is ready to make wholesale changes in their bowling attack with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja likely to be preferred over Ravichandran Ashwin.