Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami are unlikely to recover in time to take part in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh, which starts on December 14 in Chattogram. Both players had missed the preceding ODI series with injuries. In their absence, India are likely to bring in Saurabh Kumar and Navdeep Saini as replacements. Both Saurabh and Saini are currently part of the India A side also on tour in Bangladesh.
Jadeja is yet to recover fully from a knee surgery that he had done in September earlier this year, while Shami is nursing a shoulder injury. Shami had suffered the injury during a training session after he returned from Australia, where India lost the semi-final of the T20 World Cup last month.
Saurabh, the Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner, could be in line for his debut as a like-for-like replacement for Jadeja. He has been a consistent performer in the Ranji Trophy and in the ongoing unofficial Test series against Bangladesh A, he has emerged as the highest wicket-taker so far with ten strikes at an average of 15.30. Saurabh can also contribute with the bat lower down the order, as he showed during his 39-ball 55 in Sylhet on Thursday.
Saini, if he is promoted into the senior side, will join Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj as India’s seam-bowling options for the series. Rohit Sharma, the captain, is in doubt for the Test-series opener after having injured his thumb during the second ODI in Mirpur on Wednesday. Rohit has since returned home to Mumbai to consult a specialist but the BCCI is yet to provide the latest update.
After India conceded the ODI series 2-0, Rohit expressed his frustration at India’s mounting injury list. Deepak Chahar (hamstring strain) and Kuldeep Sen (stiff back) are also on that list.
“I mean there are definitely a few injury concerns,” Rohit said. “We need to try and get to the bottom of it. I don’t know what exactly it is. Maybe they’re playing too much cricket. We need to try and monitor those guys, because it’s important to understand when they come for India, they need to be a 100%, in fact more than 100%.”
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