India fast-bowler Umesh Yadav has been reportedly ruled out of the third Test against Australia after picking up a calf injury on day three of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Monday. The right-arm pacer had limped off the field after picking the injury while bowling his fourth over. He could not even complete his over as he walked off the field in the eighth over of Australia’s second innings.
Right after delivering the third ball of the over, Umesh Yadav limped over on completing his follow-through and looked to be in a lot of pain. He called for the physio straightaway and after receiving some treatment walked off the field. Mohammed Siraj then completed the remaining deliveries of the eighth over.
Later the BCCI gave an update on the injury. While at first it looked like the pacer had picked up a knee injury, the BCCI confirmed otherwise. In a statement, the Indian cricket board confirmed Umesh Yadav complained of a pain in calf and was taken for scans to know the extent of the injury. And the scans reports are not very promising.
According to ANI, sources in the know of developments in the Indian camp said that Umesh Yadav will be missing the third Test, starting on January 7. He, however, remains in contention for the fourth Test as the sources said the bowler will be looking to get back 100 percent for the last game.
“His scans have come in and he will miss the third Test as well. He will now look at making a return for the last game of the series as we have more than two weeks to go before we play the final game from January 15,” the source said.
T Natarajan as replacement:
Umesh Yadav’s injury has further depleted the Indian pace attack. Earlier this month, Mohammed Shami was ruled out of the series after suffering a fracture on his wrist while batting in the first Test. On the other hand, the likes of Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could not even travel to Australia after picking up injuries in IPL 2020.
And the lack of option could see left-arm pacer T Natarajan being added to the main Test squad. The pacer is still in Australia as a net bowler and is likely to be added to the main squad. T Natarajan made his debut ODI and T20I debuts during the ongoing tour and impressed straightaway.
After picking up two wickets on his ODI debut, he scalped six wickets in the three-match T20I series at an economy rate of just 6.91 when almost all the other bowlers were being taken to the cleaners. Incidentally, he was not a part of the T20I and ODI squads as well before getting the chance after injury to other players.
“With limited options available, the team management can ask for Natarajan to be added to the squad,” the source told the news outlet.