Injury-ravaged India produced a draw for ages when they forced Australia to shake hands before the scheduled end of play in Sydney on Monday. Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane rightly said the draw was as good as a win considering everything. Stalemate at the Sydney Cricket Ground meant that a heavily patched-up India can still hope to pull off back-to-back Test series wins Down Under. They just need to beat the Aussies at the Gabba, Brisbane. Yes, at The Gabba.
Then the situation got grimmer. A day after the memorable draw in Sydney, the news arrived that pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series due to an abdominal strain. The BCCI is yet to confirm the pacer's injury, but the 27-year-old is certain to miss the finale. With home series against England series coming up, and other senior pacers Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav recuperating, India just can't afford to risk Bumrah.
Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul are already out of the Australia series too. Then, there are fresh injury concerns involving Ravichandran Ashwin and Mayank Agarwal.
Here's a detailed look at India's injury woes during this tour:
The senior pacer suffered a left side strain after playing only one match in the IPL in September and after that was ruled out of the Australia series. Ishant got bowling fit before the series but needed more overs under his belt before taking on the rigours of Test cricket. He has just returned to competitive cricket for Delhi with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and will be selected against England in Tests.
The white-ball specialist and reserve pacer of the Test team injured his right hamstring during an IPL game and had to undergo an extensive rehabilitation programme which led to him missing the Australia series in full. He has just returned to action with the Mushtaq Ali T20 for UP and will be back in the national team for England series.
One of the finds of the IPL, Kolkata Knight Rider's Varun Chakravarthy was a left-field selection in the Indian T20 team but the old national selection committee with interim chairman Sunil Joshi didn't know that he was playing with a serious shoulder injury which ruled him out of his maiden national tour.
Perhaps the most high-profile left hamstring injury that happened during the IPL. The Mumbai Indians skipper played through pain in the final but was ruled out of the white ball series against Australia. Due to hard quarantine of 14 days in Sydney, Rohit, despite being fit, couldn't play the first two Tests and was back in action from Sydney where he hit a half-century in the second innings.
India's craftiest pace bowler sustained a fractured forearm while trying to fend a short ball from Pat Cummins in the Adelaide Test and was then ruled out of the remaining three Tests. He is doubtful for the first two Tests against England at home as well.
The senior India pacer hobbled out of the field during Australia's second innings with a calf muscle injury and will soon be at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for a rehabilitation programme. There is a chance he might be back for the England series next month.
After a decent outing in the white ball leg, KL Rahul sustained a wrist injury while batting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground nets and was sent back to India to recuperate before the England series. His departure led to India's back-up middle-order being next to nil.
India's premier all-rounder received a knock on his left thumb from a short delivery bowled by Mitchell Starc in Sydney and scans revealed dislocation as well as a thumb fracture. He will be out for at least a couple of months, ruling him out of the England home series as well.
The keeper-batsman received a knock in the left elbow from Pat Cummins and couldn't keep wickets in the second innings in Sydney. However, it was not a fracture and played after popping in a lot of painkillers which provided him initial relief. He will play in Brisbane in the fourth Test.
The hero of the Sydney Test, after his epic 161-ball vigil, has a serious hamstring injury (grade 2) and will be out of the fourth Test in Brisbane as well as the following series against England.
The man who has bowled more than 134 overs in the series, most by an Indian bowler, is suffering from back spasms and found it difficult to even sleep or tie his boot laces. With medication and physiotherapy sessions, India will expect their senior-most bowler on the park in Brisbane.
Having failed in the first two Tests, Agarwal was dropped in Sydney and who would have known that during a net session, he would get hit on the gloves and taken for scans. He was supposed to replace Hanuma Vihari and if it's a bruise, Agarwal is expected to play through pain.
He suffered an abdominal strain during the late evening on the third day while chasing a ball to the boundary. He didn't come out and bowl his spells but it has been learnt that he is in considerable discomfort and will sit out of the next Test in Brisbane.
(With PTI inputs)
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