Former Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan feels that India is going to miss Ishant Sharma very badly in the Test Series against Australia. The 32-year-old Indian bowler has played 97 Tests in total for India. Sharma has been one of India’s key bowlers in the Test format.
In his Test career, Ishant Sharma has amassed a total of 297 wickets. With a bowling average of 32.39, it is quite evident how good Ishant Sharma was in the Test format. Furthermore, his form in the overseas condition is nothing less than brilliant. Sharma has picked a total of 53 wickets in just 13 Test Matches. What signifies his importance is that in overseas conditions, his bowling average has been an outstanding 20.0.
Zaheer Khan also reckons that the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah form a complete bowling lineup. This is because each of the 3 aforementioned bowlers has different bowling abilities. It is always good to have variety in a team’s bowling lineup. Ishant Sharma last played a Test Match against New Zealand back in February 2020.
Ishant Sharma missed out on a chance to play in the Border-Gavaskar trophy when he got injured during IPL 2020. The bowler has been working to recover, however, he still is not fully fit. Eventually, the team management has decided not to go forward with Ishant Sharma.
Umesh Yadav should replace Ishant Sharma in the starting XI: Zaheer Khan
With Ishant Sharma out, India needs an experienced bowler who can fill in his shoes. Zaheer Khan feels that Umesh Yadav could be an ideal replacement for Ishant Sharma. The 33-year-old RCB bowler has been India’s backup bowler for quite some time. In just 46 Test Matches, Yadav bagged a total of 144 wickets to his name. He also boasts a decent Test bowling average of 30.47.
India also has other pace bowlers in the form of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. However, Zaheer feels that the duo is inexperienced. Hence, he feels that India should go with a more experienced option. Umesh Yadav could provide India with just that. With the Border-Gavaskar trophy only a few days away, India would want to decide on their starting XI.
India will take on Australia in the 1st Test Match on 17th December. The 1st Test will be held at the Adelaide Oval. Both the teams would look to win the 1st Test to get in a commanding position in the series.