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Saturday, January 23, 2021

T Natarajan roped in, Rohit Sharma named vice-captain in India’s Test squad

T Natarajan had started off as a net bowler during the series against Australia and then subsequently made it to the T20I and ODI squads.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: January 2, 2021 10:47:16 am
T Natarajan has played one ODI and three T20Is for India. (BCCI)

Thangarasu Natarajan on Friday replaced injured pacer Umesh Yadav in the India Test team for the remaining two matches against Australia, continuing his remarkable rise in international cricket.

The 29-year-old had started off as a net bowler during the series and then subsequently made it to the T20I and ODI squads. He snared eight wickets (two ODI and six T20I) during his four limited-overs appearances in national colours.

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.

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma has also been named vice-captain of the touring squad.

The 33-year-old Mumbaikar, who had missed the limited-overs series as well as the first two Tests against Australia due to a hamstring injury, rejoined his team in Melbourne on Thursday.

“There was never an iota of doubt about who will be India’s vice-captain once Virat takes a break and Ajinkya is elevated. It was always going to be Rohit and Pujara was just a stop-gap arrangement till the former joined the squad,” a senior official privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“Rohit has been India’s long-time white ball vice-captain, so it was only imperative that in Virat’s absence, he will be a part of the team’s leadership group,” the official added.

Rohit has scored 2141 runs in 32 Tests at an average f 46 plus. He has six hundreds in his kitty with the best of 212 against South Africa in 2019.

India will be leaving for Sydney on January 5 for the New Year’s Test which is scheduled to start on January 7.

India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan.

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