India or India A? Ishant to Jadeja, the long injury list going into the Gabba Test


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The Indian XI at the Gabba will look very different from what they would have wanted for the series decider

Somewhere amid their 36 all out at Adelaide Oval, the remarkable comeback at the MCG and the rearguard for the ages at the SCG, the story of India’s Test tour of Australia has been about the injuries.

There was a short list even before India left for Australia, with the names of the Sharmas – Rohit and Ishant – in it, but since then, the number has increased alarmingly. So much so that the team for the series-deciding final Test at the Gabba will likely look very different from anyone’s idea of the best Indian Test XI.

Virat Kohli was always going to leave after the first Test, and Rohit was going to be available for the third and fourth Tests – nothing has changed there. But elsewhere…

Yes, that was the first of those. Pat Cummins making sure Mohammed Shami – the new-ball partner to Jasprit Bumrah – isn’t around to trouble them for the remainder of the series, adding injury – a fractured forearm – to insult as India completed their 36 all-out show.

Mohammed Siraj replaced him for the second Test, but then it was Umesh Yadav’s turn to limp out. Not an impact injury, but a calf strain. And Yadav was back home not long after.

The pace attack would ideally have had Bumrah, Shami and Ishant, with Yadav the spare. Bumrah had a group of rookies to do the job with him after that and, it appears, he might himself miss the final Test now because of what might be an abdominal injury.

Poor KL Rahul, he wasn’t even out in the middle, just a back-up, when his tour was cut short by a training injury. And it appears that Mayank Agarwal is injured too, while R Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari, who were so heroic on the final day at the SCG, are not fit enough to play the final Test. Wait and watch on those for now…

It’s the hamstring for Vihari… and the back for Ashwin.

But before Ashwin and Vihari did what they did, there were Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja.

Pant copped a blow to his elbow while batting in the first innings in Sydney, didn’t keep in the Australia second innings, and then came out to play a remarkable knock on the final day. He should make the XI for Gabba.

But Jadeja won’t. That was a first-innings injury too. He didn’t bowl in the Australia second innings. Was possibly not in a condition to bat on the final day. And has since had surgery to fix a dislocated thumb.

That’s the story so far… one Test to go, but more than winning the match, and the series, getting a fit XI on the field might be India’s bigger worry.



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