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AUS Vs IND, Brisbane Test: Here's A Look At India's Many Possible Playing XIs

The growing number of injured players in the Indian camp in Australia has presented opportunities to fringe players

AUS Vs IND, Brisbane Test: Here's A Look At India's Many Possible Playing XIs
Indian national cricket team | File Photo
AUS Vs IND, Brisbane Test: Here's A Look At India's Many Possible Playing XIs
outlookindia.com
2021-01-14T10:31:51+05:30

India's injury woes compounded a day after sealing a victory-like draw in the third Test match against Australia in Sydney. Jasprit Bumrah, the pace spearhead, reported with an abdominal strain. He is certain to miss the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series finale in Brisbane, and who comes in his place -- Thangarasu Natarajan or Shardul Thakur -- is the big question.

3rd Test Report | Scorecard | News

Natarajan, 29, impressed everyone during the limited-overs leg and was drafted into the Test squad as injured Umesh Yadav's replacement. Many backed the left-arm seamer to make his Test debut in Sydney, but the honour went to Navdeep Saini. Now, another window has opened for Natarajan to make his Test bow. Being a left-armer, Natarajan will surely add variety to the attack, and India may well pick him ahead of Thakur.

Thakur has so far played one Test match, against the West Indies in 2018. In that match, the right-arm pacer walked off the field with a groin injury after bowling just 10 balls in Hyderabad.

READ: Brisbane Test Live Streaming

In Bumrah's absence, two-Test old Mohammed Siraj will lead the Indian attack even as reports emerged that senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has aggravated his back spasm. If the off-spinner is not available, Kuldeep Yadav becomes an automatic starter.

As things stand, Navdeep Saini, who made his Test debut in Sydney, is a sure pick. Thus leaving Thakur and Natarajan to fight it out for the fourth bowler. If India, as seen throughout the series, go with five bowlers,  then both Thakur and Natarajan may well get to feature in The
Gabba showdown. But, it's unlikely considering Indian batting line-up is also fraught with uncertainty after the injury to Hanuma Vihari.

READ:  Person Of The Year 2020 - T Natarajan

Here's a look at India's XIs for Sydney Test:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini.

And the following are possible XIs when Rahane & Co take the field in Brisbane Friday morning:

Scenario 1: Shubman Gill playing as a middle-order batsman and India going with five bowlers. By the way, Mayank Agarwal had sustained a knock on the hands and it could be a hairline fracture.

Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw/Mayank Agarwal (if he's fit), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Thangarasu Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav.

Scenario 2: Rishabh Pant playing as a pure batsman, and Wriddhiman Saha keeping the wickets, and with five bowlers:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Thangarasu Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav.

Scenario 3: Ravichandran Ashwin is fit and India opt for two spinners:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Thangarasu Natarajan/Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav.

Scenario 4: Ravichandran Ashwin is fit and India go with four bowlers, and Shubman Gill as a middle-order batsman:

Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw/Mayank Agarwal (if he's fit), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Thangarasu Natarajan/Shardul Thakur/Kuldeep Yadav. 

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