The Indian cricket team is all set to make its return to the cricket field after staying away from the international arena for over 250 days. Virat Kohli and co. have landed in Australia after a grueling IPL 2020 season. All players have enough match practice heading into this tour. However, the players have stated that life in a bio-bubble is not so great.
Apart from staying physically fit, the players also need to develop their mental strength to perform well in such competitions. The inconsistencies of many big names in IPL 2020 highlighted the impact of the bio-bubble. Plus, the Indian cricketers have not played a 50-over match or a Test match since March.
Thus, there exists a possibility of any player getting ruled out of the tour with an injury problem. Varun Chakravarthy has already lost his spot in the T20I squad to T Natarajan owing to his shoulder injury. Besides, the Indian limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma will also miss the ODI and T20I series because of injury issues. Thanks to IPL 2020, the BCCI would have a clear idea about all the domestic players’ current form.
Here are the five players who can come in as injury replacements if required during the Australian tour:
5. Ishan Kishan
Former India U19 captain Ishan Kishan impressed everyone with his terrific performances in IPL 2020. He was the highest run-getter for the Mumbai Indians this season. It is pertinent to note that Kishan had missed a few matches at the start because of his shoulder niggle. Still, he performed consistently and played many match-winning knocks for the IPL champions.
Kishan could have been a solid back-up wicket-keeping option in the limited overs teams. However, the selectors preferred Sanju Samson over him. Still, the left-handed batsman has an outside chance of making his international debut during the Australian tour.
Wriddhiman Saha, who is the team’s first choice keeper in Tests, is currently dealing with an injury. Although Rishabh Pant is present in the squad, the selectors might want to include Ishan in the team if Saha does not recover. Kishan has played magnificently for Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy. Thus, he could come in as an injury replacement.
2. Suryakumar Yadav
Another player from the IPL 2020 winning Mumbai Indians squad to feature on this list is Suryakumar Yadav. Unlike Ishan Kishan, Yadav has been doing well in the domestic circuit and the IPL for many years now. However, the selectors have not given him a single opportunity to prove himself at the international level.
It is noteworthy that Yadav could have broken into the Indian team had he performed well for the India A team this year. Unfortunately, his inconsistency for India A kept him out of the squad. Many fans believe that Yadav deserves a place in the Indian limited overs team.
While Ravi Shastri has asked him to stay patient, Yadav’s wait for his maiden international cap could end if any top-order batsman picks up an injury. The MI star has shown that he can perform at any position. With Rohit Sharma also out with an injury, Yadav has a slim chance of being called up as an injury replacement.
3. Kartik Tyagi
Kartik Tyagi made his IPL debut for the Rajasthan Royals this year. He had a fairly impressive season for the Royals, and the youngster showed that he has the talent to make it big in the cricket world. Tyagi had played a major role in India’s journey to the U19 World Cup final earlier this year.
He enjoyed bowling in the South African conditions. Since the pitches in Australia favour the fast bowlers, Tyagi could come in as an injury replacement later in the tour. The rising star is one of the two net bowlers who have traveled with the Indian team to Australia.
Earlier, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and T Natarajan were also named as net bowlers for this tour. However, Nagarkoti could not clear a fitness test, while Natarajan earned a place in the T20I squad. Thus, like Natarajan, Tyagi could earn a place in the Indian squad if any fast bowler gets injured.
4. Shivam Dube
Since Vijay Shankar is nursing an injury, the selectors do not have many options available in the all-rounders’ section if someone from that department gets injured. Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya are the top two all-rounders present in the squad. While Jadeja has no fitness issues, Hardik’s back does not look great.
The Baroda-based all-rounder did not bowl a single ball for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020. If he is unavailable to bowl in Australia, it would mean that the Indian team will have another specialist batsman in their line-up. Shivam Dube could be a great back-up choice for the two Indian all-rounders.
Dube did not have a memorable IPL season in the United Arab Emirates. However, he is a big-hitting batsman who can turn the tables at any moment of the match. Also, he could give a few overs of right-arm medium pace in the middle.
5. KS Bharat
The four names mentioned earlier played in IPL 2020 and performed decently, but KS Bharat was playing the Hyderabad T20 League back in India. Bharat has been consistent with the bat in the domestic circuit. Since there is a question mark over Wriddhiman Saha’s fitness, Bharat could be drafted into the Test squad as a back-up keeper.
Bharat has the potential to play a big knock. Also, the critics have lauded his glovework behind the stumps. The selectors had named him in the squad for a few international series. But the wicket-keeper batsman is yet to make his international debut.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, the Indian team will need a reliable middle-order batsman. Bharat could thus solve two problems for the Indian team. He is likely to gain a place in the Test squad if Saha fails to recover.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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