India’s injury woes have compounded with each passing day and the latest in the list is Bumrah as the fast bowler has an abdominal strain. But the team management is clear that he will lead the attack in the series decider even if he is 50 percent fit.
Lal feels there will be new challenges for India in Brisbane but the availability of Bumrah for the final Test will boost visitors’ confidence.
“Brisbane as a ground is different so I think challenges will be there for the Indian team. And I feel if Bumrah plays it will be beneficial for the Indian team,” Lal told ANI.
The Indian team though will miss the services of Sydney Test hero Hanuma Vihari as he has a Grade 2 tear on his right hamstring. While Vihari’s hamstring issue was noticeable, not many knew that even Ashwin had back issues on Monday morning. It was later revealed by his wife Prithi on social media.
Lal said India might be without the services of some big players and reserve players might get a chance to feature in the longest format of the game for the final game of the series which has seen both teams give it there all.
“Lot of problems are there in front of the Indian side. More than half of the team is injured, top players are injured, and the absence of big players will definitely be there. As of now, it looks very tough for them to form even a playing 11. In the case of injuries, reserve players will get the chance,” he pointed.
“I think if Ashwin is fit and if he plays, it will be really good news. You will come to know about the injury update and team by tomorrow,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun was seen discussing tricks of the trade with pacers Bumrah and Shardul Thakur. In a series of photos shared on the Indian cricket team’s official Twitter handle, Bumrah can be seen with a ball in hand and discussing gameplans with coach Arun and Shardul Thakur.
After an epic fightback in Sydney, it is time to regroup. We have begun our preparations for the final Test at the… https://t.co/GAvd85IDMS
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1610513198000
The team was also seen in a huddle at The Gabba, where Shastri was seen giving the boys a pep talk. “After an epic fightback in Sydney, it is time to regroup. We have begun our preparations for the final Test at the Gabba! #TeamIndia #AUSvIND,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) tweeted.
The Indian attack has already lost Mohammed Shami broken hand and Umesh Yadav calf injury during the course of the ongoing series and with the series level at 1-1, skipper Ajinkya Rahane will hope that Bumrah is ready to go full throttle on the fastest wicket in Australia.
Racial abuse incident: Umpires offered us option to leave Sydney Test midway, reveals Mohammed Siraj – The Economic Times Video
India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj on Thursday revealed that on-field umpires had offered his team the option of leaving the third Test against Australia midway after he was subjected to racial abuse by the crowd in Sydney. Siraj and his senior pace colleague Jasprit Bumrah faced racial abuse for two days at the Sydney Cricket Ground, forcing the Indian team management to lodge an official complaint with match referee David Boon. Cricket Australia later offered an unreserved apology for the incidents.
Virat bhai told me I have the ability to perform on the big stage: Siraj | Cricket News
Before the series against Australia started, Siraj had lost his father. But the pacer decided to stay back in Australia to fulfill his father’s dream of seeing Siraj play Test cricket.
“The trust that RCB and Virat Bhai have shown in me. RCB backed me throughout, I had a terrible season in 2018, but still, they retained me. Virat Bhai has always shown his support, he has always told me that I have the ability to perform on the big stage. I will take the confidence from this series to the next against England. Whatever team management decides, I will do just that. I am not thinking what will happen when (Mohammad) Shami and Umesh (Yadav) return,” Siraj told reporters at a press conference here in Hyderabad.
Siraj’s hard work paid off on the fourth day of the fourth Test against Australia at The Gabba as he went on to register his maiden five-wicket haul. After returning from Australia, Siraj went to pay tribute to his late father. The Indian pacer played three Test matches on the tour and returned 13 wickets.
“Smith’s wicket was crucial, I had dropped his catch, then I was under pressure. But I got Smith out, it helped our team and I got a bit relaxed. I just want to keep performing for the team, I don’t intend to relax, I just want to continue my performances. My favourite wicket was Marnus Labuschagne, it was a crucial wicket in the Test, I took two wickets in one over, so it was special,” said Siraj as he looked back at the historic win at The Gabba.
Commenting on bowling with Jasprit Bumrah in the second and third game, Siraj said: “Bumrah kept supporting me from the other end. I played two matches with him, he supported me throughout. I bowled a bad spell in the fourth Test, Bumrah bhai told me not to focus on that and be prepared for the next spell. After taking a five-wicket haul, I just hugged Bumrah bhai,” he added.
When asked how he felt about leading the Indian pace attack in the fourth Test, Siraj said: “I was just thinking I am playing for India A. I did not think that I was playing for India as it would have bought different pressure. Ajinkya Rahane trusted every youngster, he believed in all of us. He gave confidence to the likes of Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur and this means a lot to any youngster. I have enjoyed under both Kohli and Rahane.”
“During the lockdown, I worked really hard, I did bowling on a single-wicket, I knew IPL 2020 would be really important for me. I spoke to Dale Steyn while playing for RCB, I was able to develop outswinger there. I was then selected for the Australia series, I thought I would not get a chance but I played three matches and now I am looking to just focus on the Tests against England. Hanuma Vihari captained me while for Hyderabad, he knows me really well, he was always trying to explain to me what the opposition batters were trying to do. He always supported me,” he added.
Siraj made his debut for India during the MCG Test against Australia. He had made his way into the side as spearhead Mohammed Shami got injured in the first Test at Adelaide.
On Tuesday, Australia’s fortress — The Gabba — was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds to take the series 2-1.
Inside Team Room: Wear that 36 all out like a badge, R Sridhar recalls ‘Raviship’ and more
Team India’s long-serving fielding coach R Sridhar was in the thick of things as side battled adversity after adversity before their “unreal” Test series win over a mighty Australia. And in an exclusive conversation with , he opened up about the emotional roller-coaster that the tour was.
“When Rishabh and Washy (Washington Sundar) were batting, I wasn’t able to cope up with tension,” Sridhar said after reaching his home in Hyderabad, still trying to calm the nerves after that surreal final day in Brisbane.
“My heart rate was 120 on fitness app and couldn’t help telling Rohit that main ek ghante mein 10 saal buddha ho gaya,” he joked.
An integral part of the Indian team set-up, Sridhar opened about the tour in an elaborate chat, asserting it will be difficult to surpass what the team went through in the past one month — from hitting the nadir to reaching the zenith.
He touched upon the many highlights of the intense trip — from coach Ravi Shastri‘s inspiring speech after the 36 all-out disaster in Adelaide to Hanuma Vihari‘s “miracle” batting at Sydney to the stunner in Brisbane.
36 all out and the aftermath:
“After 36 all-out, you didn’t know what’s next. Then Ravi (Shastri) bhai gathered the team and said: ‘Wear this 36 like a badge on your sleeves and you will be a great team’.
“After 40 days, it was gospel truth. Also we had five meetings in two days after the Adelaide Test finished on the third evening. Virat (Kohli), Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) and the coaching staff discussed combination and Virat gave some lovely suggestions for the MCG Test before leaving.
“I don’t think there could have been a better execution in Melbourne,” he recalled the events leading up to the turnaround in Melbourne, where India won to draw level.
Hanuma Vihari and the Sydney Heist:
“At tea time in Sydney, Vihari had his feet stretched wide as Nitin Patel strapped his hamstring and other physio administered painkillers. I went up to him and told Vihari, ‘You owe the next two hours to your team as this team has backed you at every juncture.’
“…and after those 250 balls when he came back, he could barely walk, he fell down on the chair as I went to hug him. He said: ‘Sir you asked for it. This is the best I could do in this situation.’ I could just mutter ‘thank you.’
Sridhar said Vihari’s fitness took a hit as he wasn’t a part of the IPL like most other Indian players last year.
“His hamstring injury is multi-factorial. Firstly, he wasn’t playing IPL like others, so general fitness level was a bit less than other guys which I told him and then he stood at short leg for three Tests which also contributed to injury. But what he did in Sydney gave us belief that we could do it in Brisbane.
“Vihari is an intense, young man. He is not your normal, jovial kind of a guy. He can go into a shell very soon, and that’s his strength also and it helped him in Sydney.
“Despite being on heavy dose of painkillers, which could make you a bit drowsy, he actually pulled off a miracle in Sydney. So when we got there in Brisbane, we had the belief that we could do it.”
The Brisbane Chase on final day:
“We didn’t want to complicate anything with Rishabh and Washy and it was their own plan. They had very valid excellent plan which was based on their abilities and belief.
“When you see what they were executing, the last thing you want to do is send in information and at such times, less is more. Ajinkya and Ravi bhai said, ‘Just leave these two alone. Whatever happens, we would take it, we came so far brilliantly’.”
T Natarajan didn’t carry his bat or pads to the tour:
“You know Nattu didn’t carry a bat. He had his bowling spikes and trainers because he came as a net bowler and was supposed to bowl. He had to borrow one from either Washy or Ash (R Ashwin) when he was named in the squad.
“But that was the beauty. He was not any usual net bowler. (Strength and Conditioning coach) Nick Webb and (trainer) Soham (Desai) had proper strength and conditioning plan for all our net bowlers and they were an integral part of dressing room.”
Talent called Washington:
“We kept him here after white ball games because we didn’t want Ash to bowl too much at the nets but Nathan Lyon was always going to be an integral part of the Aussie line-up so we needed our batsmen to get net sessions.
“We used Washy to bowl into the rough. When Washy would bowl to our top order at nets, I would go and tell him ‘Washy, give the ball over-spin because that’s the need of the hour on Australian pitches, up (pitching it up) and over spin as you have to put your whole body behind the ball, because it requires energy.’
“We would tell Washy, that you may not be the lead off-spinner, but when India come back again in 2025, who knows you might be leading the spin attack with Kuldeep. Also even when he was not in original squad, he would bat for 30 minutes every day.”
Leadership will now be known as ‘Ravi Ship’:
“Before the Brisbane Test started, Ravi bhai had one mantra, ‘Nattu is no less than (Jasprit) Bumrah and Washy is no less than Ashwin, and that will be your mindset’. If you two are crossing that boundary line wearing that India cap, you are no less than the person next to you.
“Please quote me, it is unfair that you needed India’s greatest Test victory to understand Ravi Shastri’s contribution to Indian cricket. He was Indian cricket’s ‘Go To Man’, when NCA needed restructuring in 2007, when IPL was conceptualised, when India needed a stop gap coach in 2007 after the World Cup exit, and also in 2014 when a Team Director was needed.”
And finally, a Champagne spray and game of TT:
We had a flight next morning. So first we had to pack our bags and then we went to the team room for celebration. 90 per cent people don’t drink so it was just spraying champagne and then some games of table tennis which the boys enjoyed.
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