The Indian cricket team suffered absolute humiliation in the first Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Adelaide. The Virat Kohli and Co. suffered an 8-wicket defeat, and the hosts got off to a perfect start to take an early 1-0 lead in the 4-match series.
Adding to the troubles, India’s top pacer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the remaining three tests after suffering a fracture in Adelaide on Saturday. Shami was hit on his lower right arm when he was trying to play a short pitch delivery bowled by Pat Cummins.
The second Test match will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from December 26. Since Shami will be unavailable for the remainder, it would be interesting to see who shall replace him in the upcoming second Test.
India have got some suitable players warming the bench who could act as the replacement of Shami. Let’s look at three such players who can come in place of Shami:
Mohammed Siraj was part of both the practice games against Australia A, where he impressed everyone. Siraj picked up three wickets in total and bowled at a decent pace along with maintaining the ideal line and length.
Ahead of the Australia tour, the 26-year-old pacer had an impressive outing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Siraj is a skilled swing bowler who can move the red ball both ways. If the team management decides to go with him as Shami’s replacement, Siraj could make his debut in Test cricket.
Just like Siraj, Navdeep Saini is yet to make his debut for India in the longest format of the game. He was added in the Test squad for two-match series against New Zealand earlier this year, but couldn’t make it to the playing XI.
Although Saini failed to impress in the ODI series against Australia, but he did prove his worth during the second practice game against Australia A. He picked up three wickets.
Star India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja suffered a concussion in the first T20I against Australia, due to which he had to miss the remainder of the T20I series along with the first Test. But now he seems fit as Jaddu was seen sprinting and practising batting as well as bowling in the nets.
Ideally, a spinner doesn’t fall as a replacement of a speedster, but the track in Melbourne is not going to be quick enough. In fact, there will be a lack of pace, and it could well make India consider going in with two spinners in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja.