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Injury-hit India’s likely playing XI: Washington Sundar to debut? Agarwal, Bumrah, Ashwin unfit

Vishnu Vasisht

Injured playing XI

The current series against Australia has been good so far for India. After winning the T20 series 2-1. Pile-up of injuries have been hunting the team ever since the test matches began. After three matches of the Test series, the problem is that now it is difficult for the team to field a strong playing XI at Brisbane for the fourth Test. The series is tied at 1-1 and it will be at stake in the final test. Ace pacer Bumrah picking up an injury is the recent addition.

After playing the first match of the Test series, Virat Kohli returned home on Paternity Leave. In the first test, Pacer Mohammed Shami got injured and was replaced by debutant Mohammad Siraj.

In the 2nd test, the bowling department got another hit in the form of Umesh Yadav. After the 2nd game, opener Lokesh Rahul also had to return home after picking up a wrist injury.

Ravindra Jadeja played the third Test match despite a finger injury but now he will not be a part of the fourth Test match. Not only him, opener Mayank Agarwal is also doubtful to play the Brisbane Test. In practice, he suffered a hand injury and may have suffered a hairline fracture.

Ravichandran Ashwin's back stiffness has also increased after batting three and a half hours on the final day of the Sydney Test. However, he is expected to play in the next Test match starting on 15 January. Finger spinner Washington Sundar, who made his white ball debut in 2017, is with the team and can replace Jadeja. Sundar stayed back with the team after the limited over series as a net bowler.

BCCI does not want to take risks regarding Bumrah and Ashwin

Indian bowling attack key member Jasprit Bumrah also has a stretch problem and after his scan report, the Indian team management does not want to risk his injury due to the upcoming four-Test series against England.

It is expected that two test experienced Mohammad Siraj will lead the Indian fast bowling attack. Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan can be seen supporting him in the Brisbane Test.

No option left for middle order

Day 5 star of the 3rd test Hanuma Vihari will also miss the final test. It remains to be seen whether India decides to field with six batsmen and four bowlers, given the unavailability of key players. If Vihari is to be replaced with a batsman only, Prithvi Shaw remains the only option left.

Rishabh Pant is also not completely fit after he scored a blistering knock of 97 taking painkillers and injections. If he can play, he can be played as a specialist batsman with Saha replacing Vihari and taking up wicket-keeping responsibilities.

Possible playing XI

Openers - Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma
Middle order - Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant/ Prithvi Shaw
Lower middle - Wriddhiman Saha, Washington Sundar/ Ravichandran Ashwin
Bowling order - Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan

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