Umesh out of sequence, too

New Delhi, December 31

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav has become the latest Indian player to become unavailable for the remainder of the Test series against Australia due to the calf injury he suffered in the second Test at Melbourne.

According to sources, senior pacer Yadav, who bowled only 3.3 overs in the second innings of the Melbourne Test due to his injury, is heading home for rehabilitation. The third Test begins in Sydney on January 7.

The Indian team management is likely to prefer Shardul Thakur for the third Test. File

“Umesh will have to go for an extensive rehab. He has left for India,” BCCI official source privy to the developments in Australia said today.

The Indian team management is likely to prefer Shardul Thakur over left-arm pace sensation Thangarasu Natarajan for the third Test.

“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,” the source added.

Mumbai bowler Thakur made his Test debut against West Indies in 2018, and could bowl only 1.4 overs in the first innings before suffering an injury due to which he could not bowl any further.

The final call on Yadav’s replacement will be taken by head coach Ravi Shastri, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and bowling coach Bharat Arun after reaching Sydney. Thakur has played 62 First-Class matches and has 206 wickets to his credit.

Another aspect that India would like to address ahead of the third Test is the long tail, which has affected the team. Thakur has six First-Class half centuries and during his stint with the national team in white-ball games, he has proved to be a capable batsman.

As far as Yadav is concerned, he is expected to head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for an extensive rehab programme. The 33-year-old had hobbled off the field after suffering the injury during the third day of the Boxing Day Test. — PTI

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