After conquering the Melbourne test, Ajinkya Rahane & Co. prepares for a third test against Australia starting Thursday at Sydney Cricket Ground. While players are sweating to keep the net winning, team management faces another choice mystery after Umesh Yadav comes out.
The left arm pace suffered a calf injury during two innings of the Boxing Day test and was later removed from the rest of the series. BCCI has already nominated T Natarajan as Yadav’s replacement, but Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini are the other two.
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Meanwhile, former Indian cricketers Pragyan Ojha and Deep Dasgupta backed Thakur’s choice and suggested that the Mumbai Bowler could support Bumrah and Siraj with their swinging ability.
“It is a very clear choice. Shardul Thakur who can swing the ball. His power to swing the ball, we need someone who can swing the ball. There is someone you can quickly see. These are Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah. They can move the ball in the turnstile and are fast. But if you want someone who can swing the ball, you can go to Shardul Thakur,” Ojha told Sports Today.
“And if you want someone who can quickly hit the ball and hit the deck, there is Navdeep Saini. So this is a luxury for you [Team India], Even at this point when too many injuries have occurred. What they want is up to the management of the team,” Ojha added.
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Dasgupta reflected Ojha’s thinking and said Thakur could be an advantage for India given Sydney’s conditions.
“I agree with Pragyan. [Saini and Shardul] It’s a very different kind of bowler. Shardul is a swing bowler, but Navdeep Saini hit a deck-type bowler. We already have Siraj and Bumrah. I’m okay with seeing Shardul Thakur,” Dasgupta told Sports Today.
“Anyone who can swing the ball for three days will blur Sydney. There is a forecast for the storm. I don’t care if I have someone like Shardul Thakur,” he added.