Team India’s injury crisis is getting worse with each passing day in Australia. In fact, the visitors are now struggling to have a team of fully-fit eleven players for the fourth and final Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Earlier this week, Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari were ruled out of the last Test due to thumb and hamstring injury respectively. Jadeja was hit on his thumb while batting in the first innings of the third Test while Vihari sustained his injury while batting in the second innings of the same Test. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is also not fully fit after tweaking his back.
Earlier in the series, India lost the services of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul. Shami and Yadav sustained injuries in the first and second Test respectively while Rahul suffered a wrist injury while batting in the nets before the third Test. Fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah is also doubtful for the fourth Test because of an abdominal strain.
And although an official update on Bumrah’s fitness is yet to be released, the pacer is said to have suffered an abdominal injury because of which he could hardly walk on Monday. A number of players in the team completed the Day 5 of the Sydney Test after popping in painkillers and taking injections. The players played through pain to earn the team a draw and now the current state of affairs in the camp is worrisome.
“He had complained of some discomfort during the third Test in Sydney. But he soldiered on. Now, he looks in very bad shape after the Test finished on Monday,” a source close to the team was quoted as saying by TOI.
“It will be a big call to push him to play the next match. He could barely walk on Monday evening. It will be a miracle if he regains fitness for the match on Friday,” the source added with regards to Bumrah’s chances of regaining full fitness for the Brisbane Test.
With the home series against England to follow at the beginning of next month, it looks highly unlikely that the team management will risk Bumrah in Brisbane. In all likeliness, Shardul Thakur looks set for a return to the Test team, having represented India in the whites once before. Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini will be the other pacers in the eleven.
“The call that the management needs to take is if they are willing to risk Bumrah aggravating his injury. What happens if he breaks down in the middle of the match? Thus, it looks highly unlikely that he will be played at the Gabba at the moment,” the source said.
Speaking about the rest of the members of the team, the source stated that most of the players have been put on sedatives. The training sessions have also been made optional as the team management isn’t willing to take the risk of losing another player before even the match starts.
“Most of the players are on sedatives. They look exhausted. The team is trying to stay upbeat. There will be no intense gym sessions. If at all, there will be very basic sessions. Even the nets over the next two days will be very light to keep the players in touch. Probably, nets will be optional. The team management doesn’t want to risk any other player collapsing before the final Test,” the source said.
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