India vs Australia: Natarajan replaces Umesh in Test squad, Shardul in place of Shami

Melbourne: Tamil Nadu’s yorker sensation Thangarasu Natarajan on Friday replaced injured pacer Umesh Yadav in the Indian Test team for the remaining two games against Australia, continuing his remarkable rise in international cricket.
Earlier, Shardul Thakur had replaced an injured Mohammed Shami in the squad before the second Test.
“Umesh Yadav sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the second Border-Gavaskar Test in Melbourne…The fast bowler will not recover completely ahead of the remaining two Test matches and has been ruled out of the series,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah stated in a media release.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named T Natarajan as Yadav’s replacement. Ahead of the Boxing Day Test, Shardul Thakur was added to the Test squad as Mohd. Shami’s replacement after the senior fast bowler suffered a hairline fracture in his right forearm,” the release added.
Both Shami and Umesh Yadav will head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further rehabilitation of their injuries. The 29-year-old Natarajan had started off as a net bowler during the series and then subsequently made it to the T20 and ODI squads. He snared eight wickets (two ODI and six T20) during his four limited-overs appearances in national colours.
He has played 20 first-class games for Tamil Nadu and will now be in contention for a slot in traditional format.
Earlier, fit-again top batsman Rohit Sharma completed his quarantine and joined the team in Melbourne.
The series is locked 1-1 right now with the third Test starting in Sydney from January 7.

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