Plagued by an unending spate of injuries, Team India may hand a Test debut to limited-overs specialist Washington Sundar in the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar series at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Team India's injury woes exacerbated on Tuesday, as Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari have all been ruled out of the Gabba Test scheduled to begin on January 15.
As if that was not enough, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is battling with back spasms, and a final call on him is expected to be taken by Wednesday afternoon.
How is Washington Sundar in contention for a Team India Test debut?
Tamil Nadu spinner Washington Sundar stayed back in Australia as a net bowler after the limited-overs series.
Like his state-mate T. Natarajan, who went from being a net bowler to a Team India player during the white-ball series, destiny could have something similar in store for Washinton Sundar.
The 21-year-old has played one ODI and 26 T20Is for Team India, claiming one and 21 wickets respectively. He played in the three T20Is against Australia earlier in the series, picking up two wickets in the final match.
In the event of Ashwin failing to regain fitness, though, Team India will have to considering bringing in left-arm Kuldeep Yadav to partner Washington Sundar. However, that would significantly weaken the team's lower-order batting order, which is significantly weak.
Another possibility in the case of Ashwin's unavailability is that Team India could drop the idea of playing five bowlers and go for an extra batsman instead.
With Burmah ruled out, India’s available pace bowling options are Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and T. Natarajan. The first three look all set to make it the Gabba playing XI while Natarajan’s inclusion will depend on the injury status of the other players and the team combination.
It has also been learned that Mayank Agarwal, who was set to replace Hanuma Vihari in Brisbane, was hit in the nets on Monday and is under observation. That means Prithvi Shaw stands an outside chance of making a comeback, in case Agarwal fails to recover in time.
Despite all their injury woes, Team India head into the Brisbane Test with the four-match series level at 1-1. The visitors will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy if they manage to avoid defeat.Published 12 Jan 2021, 16:34 IST