Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of India’s playing XI for the upcoming series-deciding Test match at the Gabba in Brisbane. The star all-rounder dislocated his thumb while facing a vicious Mitchell Starc bouncer to add to India’s injury woes on their tour Down Under. Moreover, recent reports have indicated that the saviour of the third Test, Hanuma Vihari, and speed veteran Jasprit Bumrah are also likely to skip the India vs Australia 4th Test as they continue to recover from their own respective injuries.
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Indian opener Prithvi Shaw, who registered scores of 0 and 4 in the opening Test, was dropped from the Indian playing XI in the next two matches. He was replaced by Shubman Gill, who starred in his maiden Test outing with scores of 45 and 35*. However, with a recent string of injuries to regular Indian players, Shaw might make a comeback into the playing XI.
While Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the side for his twin failures at the Adelaide Oval, his partner Mayank Agarwal made way for the comeback of veteran Rohit Sharma in the third Test. The upcoming series-decider at the Gabba will see a depleted Indian side defending their Border-Gavaskar title after injuries to Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and KL Rahul, all of which occurred in close proximity with each other.
As Team India struggle to place even a playing XI for the Gabba, either Prithvi Shaw or Mayank Agarwal are likely to be favoured over the injured Hanuma Vihari in the batting line-up. However, it remains to be seen whether their comeback will see them tackling the new ball in their usual openers role, considering Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma’s opening success at the SCG. If not as openers, either Shaw or Agarwal might take up a spot in the middle-order.
Meanwhile, T Natarajan is tipped to make his Test debut if Jasprit Bumrah fails to recover from his abdomen strain. If Natarajan ends up making his debut, he will become only the third Indian fast bowling debutant after Mohammed Siraj (2nd Test) and Navdeep Saini (3rd Test).
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