According to team sources, the official report on Bumrah is yet to come out, but it looks like a muscle tear. “He had complained of some discomfort during the third Test in Sydney. But he soldiered on. Now, he looks in very bad shape after the Test finished on Monday,” a source close to the team told TOI. “It will be a big call to push him to play the next match. He could barely walk on Monday evening. It will be a miracle if he regains fitness for the match on Friday,” the source added.
The team management is working out the permutations that will help them qualify for the World Test championship final. India are slated to play four Tests at home in Feb-March and a 3-0 result there would hold them in good stead. “The call that the management needs to take is if they are willing to risk Bumrah aggravating his injury. What happens if he breaks down in the middle of the match? Thus, it looks highly unlikely that he will be played at the Gabba at the moment,” the source added.
Like Bumrah, Agarwal’s scan reports are also awaited. There is talk that Washington Sundar, who has been with the squad as a net bowler, could be in contention since he is decent batsman too.
No intense sessions for now
TOI has learnt that most of the players in the team are fighting injuries and are on high dose of painkillers and injections. Rishabh Pant is still experiencing pain in his left elbow. He batted on Monday after taking two injections and a few painkillers. R Ashwin too is under medication for his back issues. Cheteshwar Pujara is nursing an injury to his hand.
“Most of the players are on sedatives. They look exhausted. The team is trying to stay upbeat. There will be no intense gym sessions. If at all, there will be very basic sessions. Even the nets over the next two days will be very light to keep the players in touch. Probably, nets will be optional. The team management doesn’t want to risk any other player collapsing before the final Test,” the source added.
Indian team to stick to five-bowler strategy?
The team management is weighing its options to put the best XI on the park. With a depleted side, it has to decide if it wants to stick to its five-bowler strategy.
“A lot depends on how Ashwin shapes up. If he could bat at No. 7 the way he did in Sydney, then the team could look to go in with five bowlers. Otherwise strengthening the batting will be an option to give them more chance to take the game deep if Bumrah indeed fails to get fit for the Test,” the source claimed. However, Shardul Thakur looks to be better placed to make the XI if Bumrah doesn’t.
Mayank Agarwal: Hit on the arm. Scan results awaited.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Finger injury. Playing with painkillers.
Hanuma Vihari: Right hamstring tear. Out of series
KL Rahul: Sprained Wrist. Out of series
Ravindra Jadeja: Dislocated left thumb. Out of series
Rishabh Pant: Bruised left elbow. On high dosage of painkillers and sedatives.
R Ashwin: Back pain. Very stiff. On painkillers.
Jasprit Bumrah: Strained abdomen. Doubtful for 4th Test
Mohammed Shami: Fractured right arm after first Test.
Umesh Yadav: Calf injury. Out of series