Fast rising T Natarajan has been added to the Indian Test squad as a replacement for injured Umesh Yadav who has been ruled out of the remaining matches of the Australia tour. Umesh sustained a strain in his left calf muscle while bowling during the third day of the second Test in Melbourne following which he hobbled off the field and took no further part in the contest.Also Read - IPL 2022 Mega Auction: 5 Players Lucknow Can Eye For Upcoming Season
The BCCI on Friday confirmed that Umesh will not be able to recover in time to be fit for the third and fourth Test. Also Read - With Johannesburg, Pretoria Among Venues, Concerns About India's Tour of SA Amid New COVID Variant's Rise
“Umesh Yadav sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the second Border-Gavaskar Test in Melbourne. He underwent scans later in the day. The fast bowler will not recover completely ahead of the remaining two Test matches and has been ruled out of the series,” BCCI said in a media release on Friday. Also Read - IND vs NZ: Shreyas Iyer Becomes 16th Indian To Score A Century On Debut
The selection committee has added left-arm pacer Natarajan as the replacement.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named T Natarajan as Yadav’s replacement,” it added.
Umesh is the latest India cricketer to have been injured since IPL 2020 with Ishant Sharma being the first to be ruled out of the entire T20 tournament after an abdomen issue. After Ishant, spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who received a maiden India call-up, returned home from UAE due to a shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma had also sustained a hamstring injury which ruled him out of the limited-overs matches of the Australia tour. However, he managed to gain fitness in time for the final two Tests of the tour.
Mohammed Shami then fractured his forearm while batting during the first Test in Adelaide which brought an early end to his Australia tour. Sharduk Thakur was named as his replacement.
“Both Shami and Umesh Yadav will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further rehabilitation of their injuries,” the BCCI said.
The 29-year-old Natarajan’s stocks have risen dramatically in the past couple of months. Following an impressive performance for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2020, he was added as a net bowler in the India touring party for Australia.
Injury to Chakravarthy opened up a slot in the T20I squad and the pacer got his maiden call-up. He was then also added to India ODI squad as cover for Navdeep Saini who complained of back spasm.
He then went on to make his India debut in the third ODI in Canberra and played in all the three matches of the following T20I series.
Updated India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan