India pacer Umesh Yadav, who limped off with tearing pain in his calf muscle during the Boxing Day Test against Australia, has flown back home and will miss the rest of the series, reported news agency ANI.
The departure of Umesh, after Mohammed Shami’s departure, means that India will be without the services of two of their frontline fast bowlers with Ishant Sharma too unavailable for the series.
The team contingent though has extra pacers in reserves who have been added to the squad. While Mohammad Siraj replaced Shami in the second Test, the squad also includes Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur (who was included after Shami’s departure).
T Natarajan, who was asked by the team management to stay in Australia as a ‘net bowler’, has been added to the squad after Umesh’s departure.
“The selectors had added Shardul Thakur (Mumbai paceman) as a replacement for Mohammed Shami (out with a fractured forearm), and there is Navdeep Saini too, but it’s very much likely that Natrajan would be preferred (for the Sydney Test) given that he brings variation to the attack. Also, like Mitchell Starc does for Nathan Lyon, he would create footmarks which spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can exploit,” TOI quoted their sources as saying.
The reports further claimed that KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will likely return to the playing XI for the Sydney Test in place of Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari, respectively.
“Rohit can either open the innings or come at No. 5 since he can then get time to find his groove after quarantining recently. If he plays in the middle-order, KL can open the innings, or it can be vice-versa.”