19 December 2020 will be remembered as one of the worst-ever days of Indian cricket as it not only saw the Virat Kohli-led unit slip to their lowest-ever Test total (36 all-out) in their history but in the process of achievement that, they also went on to lose one of their prime fast bowlers in Mohammed Shami.
Shami has been ruled out of the rest of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after he suffered a fracture thanks to a Pat Cummins bouncer during India’s second innings.
With Mohammed Shami no longer available, former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar has urged the management to fly in veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma immediately to Australia so that he can be available for the 3rs Test in Sydney.
Ishant Sharma has been out of action since the 2020 edition of the IPL where he picked up a side-strain. Sharma, however, recovered prior to the Test series but the Indian selectors decided against his selection due to workload management.
“It (Shami injury) is a big problem. he has the knack of taking wickets, he can shock the opposition with his bouncers and yorkers. If he is not playing, then it’s going to be trouble for India,” Sunil Gavaskar told Sports Tak on Saturday
“If Ishant Sharma is fit, I am suggesting to send him to Australia now. If he is capable of bowling 20 overs in a day, the management should send him to Australia on tomorrow’s flight so that he can be ready for the Sydney Test.,” he added.
“I am saying India should look at taking a chance because there is no proper back-up now. Navdeep Saini has the potential to pick wickets but the way he bowled in the warm-up matches, it doesn’t look like he will be able to trouble the Australia batsmen.” Gavaskar said.
Even if Ishant Sharma is made to fly to Australia immediately, is is highly unlikely that he will be available for the 3rd Test in Sydney since any person traveling to Australia will have to undergo a hard 14-day quarantine in which he will not be able to train.