As India and Australia tie at 1-1 in the four-match Test series after India defeated Australia by 8 wickets on Wednesday, both sides have taken crucial measures to grab the series. The Indian team management is exploring its choices where Shardul Thakur may be preferred over pacer Thangarasu Natarajan in the third Test as a replacement for injured Umesh Yadav.
Yadav suffered a calf muscle injury while bowling in the second innings. Having Yadav ruled out of rest of the Test series has giving India another blow after having missed the services of Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.
“While people are excited about the brilliant progress shown by T Natarajan, we mustn’t forget he has played only one first class match for Tamil Nadu. And Shardul has been a seasoned domestic red ball pacer for Mumbai,” stated a source close to BCCI.
“Shardul was really unfortunate that his Test debut against West Indies ended abruptly due to injury even before he could bowl an over. He has been shaping up well and might replace Umesh in the playing XI,” he added.
Shardul has so far played 62 first class games and has 206 wickets to his credit.
The final call will be taken by the head coach Ravi Shastri, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and bowling coach Bharath Arun after reaching Sydney.
As for Yadav, he is expected to head off to National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for extensive rehab programme.