Following their debacle in the first Test against Australia within third day, India stare at another headache, in addition to Virat Kohli departure, as Mohammed Shami is still uncertain for the second Test in Melbourne.
Suffering a wrist injury while batting on Saturday, Shami was taken to hospitals to scan and reports have suggested he might be out for the remainder of the series. The 30-year-old pacer, who couldn’t bowl in the second innings, picked no wickets in the game but was impressive in the warm-up game before the Test in Sydney.
Former Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his worry on who could replace in the line-up and has instead urged for Ishant Sharma must be flown to Australia immediately to strengthen Indian pace unit.
“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,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
The mandatory 14-day quarantine period meant Ishant won’t be able to feature in the second Test starting from December 26 and will only be available for the Sydney Test from January 7. Gavaskar added if a fit Ishant leaves now, he would be available for third Test.
“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 said.
Gavaskar further stated that it’s important to bring in Ishant as young Indian pacer Navdeep Saini isn’t really a proper back-up as he failed to impress in the warm-up games.
“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,” he said.