Melbourne, January 1
Tamil Nadu’s yorker sensation Thangarasu Natarajan today replaced injured pacer Umesh Yadav in the Indian Test team for the remaining two games against Australia, continuing his remarkable rise in international cricket.
Earlier, Shardul Thakur had replaced the injured Mohammed Shami in the squad before the second Test.
“Umesh Yadav sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the second Border-Gavaskar Test in Melbourne… The fast bowler will not recover completely ahead of the remaining two Test matches and has been ruled out of the series,” the Indian cricket board (BCCI) stated in a statement.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named T Natarajan as Yadav’s replacement. Ahead of the Boxing Day Test, Shardul Thakur was added to the Test squad as M. Shami’s replacement after the senior fast bowler suffered a hairline fracture in his right forearm,” the statement added.
Both Shami and Umesh Yadav will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for rehabilitation after their injuries.
The 29-year-old Natarajan had started off as a net bowler during the series and made it to the T20 and ODI squads. He snared eight wickets (two in ODIs and six in T20Is) in his four limited-overs appearances. If he plays in the Test series, he would be the first left-arm pacer to play for India in a Test since Zaheer Khan in 2014. Natarajan has played 20 First-Class games for Tamil Nadu and will now be in contention for a slot in the traditional format. — PTI
Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Thangarasu Natarajan