Team India has been plagued with a truckload of injuries in the ongoing tour of Australia. Almost all the main bowlers and a handful of batsmen of the Men in Blue have suffered injuries in the recent past. The pace sensation Ishant Sharma was already unavailable for the Australia series after suffering an injury during IPL 2020 while Mohammed Shami also had to return back to India after sustaining a fracture on his right arm in the first Test.
This was followed by Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul packing their bags. In the third Test against Australia, which resulted in a draw, India had to deal with some massive blows as Ravindra Jadeja dislocated his thumb while batting and Hanuma Vihari suffered a hamstring injury in the Sydney Test.
Adding to the misery, the only experienced pace bowler left with the Indian squad, Jasprit Bumrah, also registered his name in the long list of injury woes for India as he suffered an abdominal pain while fielding in the Sydney Test. However, one man’s loss is another man’s gain.
Owing to the absence of many key players in the Test series against England, starting from February 5 in Chennai, a number of youngsters can get a chance to represent themselves on the big stage in the purest format of the game.
Here are 5 Indian players who might be selected for England Test series due to current injury woes –
1. Yuzvendra Chahal
Wily leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has established himself as a go-to-man for captain Virat Kohli in ODIs and T20 Internationals since his debut in a One Day game against Zimbabwe on June 11, 2016. He is the favourite bowler of the skipper when the team is in trouble and needs crucial wickets of opposition batters.
Thus far, Chahal has represented India in 54 ODIs and 45 T20Is scalping 92 and 59 wickets at an economy rate of 5.20 and 8.29 respectively. The leg-spinner has also played 31 first-class games for Haryana picking 84 strikes at an economy of 3.06.
Despite having stellar numbers under his belt, the 30-year-old is waiting to don the white Jersey for India on the big stage. The spinner is in contention of getting his much-awaited Test debut Cap against England if the injury woes for India continue.
2. Hardik Pandya
There isn’t much that India’s electric all-rounder Hardik Pandya can’t do on a cricket ground. The batsman has the charisma and swagger of single-handedly winning games for India with his swashbuckling ability to strike the ball with the willow, outstanding fielding and street-smart bowling.
From the past few years, Hardik has emerged as a perfect finisher and fifth bowler for India in the limited-overs format and has the ability to essay the same role in the purest format of the game too. The 27-year-old was handed his maiden Test cap on July 16, 2017, against Sri Lanka but he could repeat his heroics in the Test format and was dropped from the squad.
In 11 Test fixtures, Pandya scored just 532 runs at an average of 31.3 and scalped 17 wickets at an economy of 3.38. The management can again look towards Hardik for the England Test series but they might have to include him as a specialist batsman as he isn’t bowling from the past year due to his back injury.
3. Shahbaz Nadeem
The slow left-arm orthodox bowler, hailing from Muzaffarpur, Shahbaz Nadeem, can be considered as one of the most under-rated bowlers in the Indian domestic circuit. The batsman has remarkable numbers in first-class games as he picked 443 wickets in 117 matches at an economy rate of 2.70 and an average of 28.7.
On the back of such a stunning record, he was handed his Test debut on October 19, 2019, against South Africa, where he picked 4 wickets across two innings at an economy of 2.30. However, that became his only outing for the Men in Blue as he is still waiting to get a call for another series.
The main reason behind this was that India already boasts of having a more able spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. However, as the spin all-rounder Jadeja might not be available for a greater part of the Test series against England, Shahbaz Nadeem can get another opportunity to shine in the whites.
4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The Indian management and fans can finally heave a sigh of relief if India’s experienced and able right-arm quick Bhuvneshwar Kumar is physically fit to take the field in the purest format of the game. Bhuvi has proved to be an asset for the Men in Blue across all the formats but he didn’t feature in a Test since January 2018 as he had to undergo multiple surgeries over the past three years due to back-to-back injuries.
Bhuvneshwar has scintillating numbers to his name in the purest format of the game picking a whopping 63 wickets in just 21 matches at an average of 26.1 and economy rate of 26.1. He will be a great asset to the team if Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are unavailable due to injury.
The 30-year-old is currently plying his trade for Uttar Pradesh in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after recovering from an injury sustained during the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Thus, there are high chances that Bhuvi will form a crucial part of India’s playing XI in the four-match home Test series against England.
5. Washington Sundar
The right-arm off-spinner and left-handed batsman Washington Sundar stands a massive chance to make a Test debut for India in the England series. He can be a perfect like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja as he can be handy with the bat and as an off-spinner.
Sundar came into limelight after his spectacular performance in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The 21-year-old could pick only 8 wickets in the whole tournament but gave a run for money to the opposition by bowling parsimonious spells in the powerplay. He had done the same for India in the three T20Is that he played against Australia in Australia in December 2020.
Sundar has so far played 25 T20Is for India and picked up 21 wickets at an average of 29.14. He also has decent records to his name in first-class cricket as he featured in 12 games picking up 30 wickets and scoring 532 runs at an average of 31.3.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- India vs England: Wasim Jaffer predicts the hosts’ probable playing eleven for first T20I
- Eoin Morgan is for England, what MS Dhoni used to be for India: Graeme Swann
- India vs England: Virat Kohli confirms Team India’s openers for the first T20I
- Virat Kohli picks favourites for T20 World Cup 2021
- India vs England: VVS Laxman predicts the hosts’ playing XI for the first T20I