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T Natarajan and Washington Sundar make their Test debuts in the final series against Australia

January 15, 2021

Written By,

Ankit Seth

The Indian cricket team have two Test debutants for the fourth and final encounter against Australia. T Natarajan has replaced Jasprit Bumrah whereas Washington Sundar has come in as a replacement of Ravi Ashwin.

The visitor cracked a few surprises when they announced the Playing XI for the fourth Test match against Australia in Brisbane. Ahead of the toss, pacer T Natarajan and off-spinner Washington Sundar were handed their debut Test caps. This makes them India's 300th and 301st Test cricketers. Natarajan was given his Test cap by bowling coach Bharat Arun. Sundar's Test cap was presented to him by senior off-spinner R Ashwin.

Mayank Agarwal replaces Hanuma Vihari in the squad

Mayank Agarwal also makes a comeback in the playing XI, as a middle-order batsman. The opening batsman takes Hanuma Vihari's place, who sustained an injury in the last Test match. Fast bowler Shardul Thakur is also in the squad. He got a position as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who was out of the last match due to a broken thumb.

T Natarajan is now the first Indian player to make debuts in all the three-game formats on the same tour. The pacer is also the 17th player overall to achieve this feat. The 29-year-old becomes the second India player after Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the same season.

Natarajan and Sundar had stayed back as net bowlers after completing the ODI series in November and early December. Natarajan got a chance in India's Test squad after Umesh Yadav was out due to a calf injury. There was no official announcement of Sundar's inclusion in the team.

The 21-year-old all-rounder has played 26 T20Is and one ODI for India since his international debut in 2017. Natarajan last featured in the three T20Is against Australia in early December. The pacer managed to claim six wickets in the entire series. Before the T20 series, he also featured in the third ODI and picked up two wickets.

Interestingly, Natarajan is the first left-arm pacer to play Test cricket for India since Jaydev Unadkat in 2010. Shardul Thakur has played one Test so far in 2018 against West Indies. Mayank Agarwal earlier played the first two Tests of the series with scores 17, 9, 0 and 5.

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Written By,

Ankit Seth