Umesh ruled out of Test series as Rohit trains in Melbourne - GulfToday

Umesh ruled out of Test series as Rohit trains in Melbourne

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma attends a training session in Melbourne on Thursday. Courtesy: Twitter

India suffered another major blow after pace bowler Umesh Yadav was ruled out of the Test series against Australia and will return home for rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), it has been learnt.

His exit comes after Mohammed Shami was ruled out following a fracture to his bowling arm in the first Test in Adelaide and had to return home ahead of the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ishant Sharma, who is recuperating at the NCA, had not travelled to Australia at all.

Umesh had limped off the field on the third day due to pain in his calf and did not return to take field.

His exit now means that Jasprit Bumrah will be left with a rookie pace bowling attack, comprising Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini. Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan and Kartik Tyagi are already there as net bowlers and two of the three will be named replacement for Shami and Umesh.

Umesh was part of the bowling attack alongside Bumrah, Ishant and Shami that helped India beat Australia in Test series in 2018-19 although he played just one Test on that tour.

Meanwhile, India batsman Rohit Sharma resumed training on Thursday, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) confirmed on its twitter handle.

Rohit, who had been in a 14-day hard quarantine in Sydney after his arrival from India in mid-December, flew to Melbourne on Wednesday to join the team.

On Thursday, the BCCI tweeted pictures of the India opener doing catching practice.

“The engine is just getting started and here is a quick glimpse of what lies ahead,” the BCCI wrote on twitter with the pictures.

Rohit’s match fitness will be crucial as he has not played any cricket since the Indian Premier League final on November 10.

He had stayed back in India to recuperate at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru even though the decision made the regular India skipper Virat Kohli unhappy.

Kohli had said prior to the ODI series that he had not been informed about Rohit’s progress and that he would have loved to have him recuperate in Australia instead of NCA.

Since arrival, the hard quarantine has meant that he has not had a chance of practice.

India coach Ravi Shastri made it clear that Rohit wouldn’t simply walk in to the side.

“We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically because he has been quarantined for a couple of weeks. We will have to see now how he feels before we take the call,” Shastri had told media after the second Test which India won.

Rohit last played a Test over a year back, against Bangladesh in Kolkata. That was also India’s first pink-ball Test.

All the while, Jasprit Bumrah, who will now be the only pace bowler remaining from the India squad of 2018-19 that won the Test series in Australia, will have his hands full going into the last two Tests of the series being the senior-most bowler despite having played just 16 Tests so far.

Bumrah’s attempt to extract angles from the round the wicket, like he did in the Melbourne Test and having to bowl more overs in case other junior bowlers don’t do well, could push his body that endured a lower-back injury only last year.

Bumrah’s returns in the series have been good so far. He has picked eight wickets in two Tests, including a four-wicket haul in the first innings of the Melbourne Test that helped India dismiss the Aussies for just 191.

“He is showing signs of maturity. He is a thinking bowler and despite limitations the way he has done well in all formats, showning potency, it is remarkable. I thought he would get injured but his core is very strong,” said former India speedster Atul Wassan, who has also served as state-level selector.

A primary reason why Bumrah has managed to keep up is because his short run-up ensures he conserves energy. His success is due to the fact that he has been accurate. He also shared tips on accuracy with debutant Mohammed Siraj while guiding him throughout his debut.

But Umesh Yadav’s exit from the ongoing Test series on Thursday due to ankle injury after Mohammed Shami, who got injured in first Test, and Ishant Sharma, who didn’t travel to Australia, has left India with reserve options having a combined experience of just two Tests.

Both Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur have played a Test each while Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan, and Kartik Tyagi have no Tests under their belt.

The last two Tests in Sydney and Brisbane may then test 27-year-old Bumrah’s mind, maturity, as well as his body.

Bumrah had suffered the lower back injury ahead of the three-Test home series against South Africa last year.


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