India suffered a major setback on Friday when in-form fast bowler Ishant Sharma was ruled out of the second Test against New Zealand at Christchurch due to injury.
Sharma who had been out of action for quite some time will miss the final Test after a recurrence of his right ankle injury that he sustained during a Ranji Trophy 2019-20 game against Vidarbha in January.
While Ishant is out of the XI, Umesh Yadav is likely to replace him in the side. Head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun were spotted having a conversation with Yadav at the nets.
Ishant’s injury is huge for the depleted Indian team. The right-handed fast bowler was one of the Indian players who produced a brilliant performance despite the team’s dismal show in Wellington. He returned with a fifer in the first innings.
Umesh, on the other hand, hasn’t played a single Test in New Zealand while made an appearance for India in the longer format in an away game at the Perth Stadium in December 2018.
Rishabh Pant likely to play second Test
As far as the wicket-keeper’s slot is concerned, Rishabh Pant is likely to be the first-choice ahead of experienced Wriddhiman Saha.
Though Pant has been disappointing with the bat as well as behind the stumps so far, the left-hander has the team management’s backing that feels that the batting ability of a ‘keeper should be given priority in bowling-friendly conditions away from home.