T. Natarajan was highly impressive in the recently concluded T20I series against Australia. The left-arm pacer is still with team India and working as a net bowler during the Test series. After Umesh Yadav suffered an injury during the third Test, few rumours suggested that Natarajan might make his Test debut at Sydney.
According to the report, Yadav is heading home for rehabilitation after being ruled out of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane as well. It was believed that the team management is impressed with the way Natarajan has bowled to Indian batsmen during net sessions and he will play the next Test as a third seamer.
Not T. Natarajan but Shardul Thakur likely to play the third Test
However now a BCCI source has asserted that not Natarajan but Shardul Thakur is the front runner to play at SCG. A PTI report quoted the source as saying that Shardul Thakur is an experienced red ball bowler whereas Natarajan has only played one first-class match for Tamil Nadu. That is why Shardul might replace Umesh Yadav in the playing XI and play the next Test.
“While people are excited about the brilliant progress shown by T Natarajan, we mustn’t forget he has played only one first-class match for Tamil Nadu. And Shardul has been a seasoned domestic red ball pacer for Mumbai”, a BCCI source privy to developments in Australia told PTI.
“Shardul was really unfortunate that his Test debut against West Indies ended abruptly due to injury even before he could bowl an over. He has been shaping up well and might replace Umesh in the playing XI”, the source added.
Meanwhile, Shardul made his Test debut for India in 2018 against West Indies. Unfortunately, the Mumbai pacer only managed to bowl just ten deliveries before walking off the field with an injury. Now it is believed he is all set to make a comeback into the Test side at Sydney in the third Test that begins from January 7.