T Natarajan replaces Umesh Yadav in India squad for last two Tests against Australia

There could be a toss-up between Shardul Thakur and Natarajan to make it to the XI for Sydney Test.

T Natarajan
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T Natarajan. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

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BCCI has announced that T Natarajan will be replacing injured Umesh Yadav who hobbled off the field during the second innings of Melbourne Test. This tour has definitely turned out to be a dream come true for Natarajan who was not even in the original squad announced.

Varun Chakravarthy’s shoulder injury first paved the way for him in the T20I squad and then was added in the ODI squad only a few hours before the first match of the series. With injuries to pacers, he was told to stay back in Australia even after the limited-overs leg as the net bowler for the Test series. Interestingly, he impressed the management with the red ball in the nets, also troubling India’s current captain Ajinkya Rahane.

Now, he might end up making his debut in the longest format as well if the management picks him for the Sydney Test. He has played 20 first-class matches in his career and has picked up 64 wickets so far with three five-wicket and as many four-wicket hauls.

Shardul Thakur replaces Mohammed Shami in the squad

Meanwhile, BCCI has also officially confirmed in its press release that Shardul Thakur was added to the Test squad ahead of the Boxing Day Test after Mohammed Shami was ruled out. The pacer sustained a hairline fracture to his right forearm after he was hit by Pat Cummins during the second innings of the Adelaide Test.

Thakur is another player in contention to replace Umesh in the playing XI. He had made his Test debut in October 2018 against West Indies but got injured while bowling his second over only. Ever since then, he never got a chance in the longest format of the game. Navdeep Saini is another pacer in the squad and it remains to be seen who gets a chance in Sydney Test.

Updated India squad for last two Tests against Australia: 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