After suffering a humiliating defeat against hosts Australia in the first Test at Adelaide, team India managed to make a strong comeback in the second Test in Melbourne to level the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 1-1. The visitors followed it with a memorable draw in the recently concluded third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
However,the Indian team is currently riddled with a slew of injuries within its ranks. The team management is racing against time to find replacements for the injured lot ahead of the fourth and final Test scheduled to begin on January 15, at the Gabba in Brisbane.
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While confirmed reports quote all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari being ruled out from the series,the team received another jolt after it emerged that fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah suffered an abdominal injury and may not feature in the series finale. However, an official update on Bumrah’s fitness is yet to be released by the BCCI.
According to a Telegraph India report, Bumrah’s injury occurred during the hosts’ second innings on the third day of the Sydney Test. During that period, the pacer even had to leave the field to seek medical assistance. However, he soon returned to bowl 25 of the 87 overs that were bowled in that innings.
The upcoming Test fixture in Brisbane plays a crucial role as it decides team India’s chance of qualifying for the World Test Championship final and Bumrah’s fitness will be a key factor. The pacer has played an important role in the teams ongoing tour down under. He so far played in three limited overs internationals and three Test matches.
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Apart from leading the pace attack, he also carried the maximum load among fast bowlers in the team. The Mumbai seamer has so far bowled 117.4 overs in six innings from the three Test fixtures. Now, Bumrah’s fitness conundrum is haunting the team management which is contemplating on finding a suitable replacement among the available squad.
In the absence of Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj can lead the pace attack with Navdeep Saini along with the aid of an uncapped TNatarajan or Shardul Thakur. It looks like the team might lean towards one Test old Thakur’s inclusion. However, his stint was short lived as he limped off the field after bowling just 1.4 overs in the first innings against the West Indies in Hyderabad in 2018.