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Shardul Thakur most likely to play ahead of T Natarajan in the third test

January 3, 2021

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The Indian team management is most probably going to give the green signal to fast bowler Shardul Thakur for the third match at Sydney. According to BCCI sources, they might consider him ahead of newcomer T Natarajan in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Both the top two cricketing nations will play their first match of 2021 at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting January 7.

The changes are likely as pacer Umesh Yadav sustained a calf muscle tear. After bowling just 3.3 overs in Australia’s second innings in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, he suffered the injury. The pacer is out of the third Test in Sydney and fourth Test in Brisbane. He will mostly be flying back to the National Cricket Academy in the coming days.

On the other end, cricket fanatics are hoping to see left-arm pacer T Natarajan making his Test debut in Sydney. As per the reports suggest that 29-year-old Shardul Thakur will get the wave purely based on experience.

T Natarajan who made his international debut in the third ODI against Australia earlier this month, impressed everyone. However, Shardul Thakur has already played 12 One Day Internationals and 17 T20Is for India. The Mumbai bowler also has grabbed 206 wickets at a strike-rate of 54.1 from 62 first-class matches.

Shardul Thakur’s final call lies on Indian team management

There are still a few days to go before the two sides lock horns in Sydney. Head coach Ravi Shastri and stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane are going to decide the final playing XI for the next Test.

India was already missing the services of blue-chip bowlers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. Now Umesh’s injury has added salt to the wounds. Team India is now left with the likes of Bumrah and Siraj in the squad. Mohammed Siraj who performed well in his debut in the Melbourne will be looking forward to the next match.

Both India and Australia are currently training in Melbourne following a recent COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales. The Indian team management is most likely to choose Thakur ahead of T Natarajan in the third Test against Australia. The series has now levelled at 1-1. Can Shardul Thakur inspire the men in blue to victories in the remaining two Tests?

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