T Natarajan, the Indian fast bowler, might not be available for the opening T20I against England on March 12 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. As per reports, the left-arm pacer is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) said that Natarajan is facing a knee and shoulder injury which could potentially rule him out of the series.
“He is down with a knee and shoulder injury and is in doubt for the T20I series. Will have to take it one day at a time and it is a race against time,” the source told ANI.
T Natarajan was last seen on the cricket field during India’s tour of Australia, where he made his debut across all three formats on the same tour. The fast bowler picked up three wickets in his debut Test and since then, he’s been away from the field of play.
Varun Chakravarthy Fails Fitness Test For The 2nd Time; Rahul Chahar Set To Replace Him
Spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who had missed out on the Australian tour due to a shoulder injury, could also be replaced by Rahul Chahar in the squad as the former failed to clear the mandatory fitness test. Rahul was already in the reserves for the Test series and with Chakravarthy not being able to clear the test, Rahul would be a like-for-like replacement.
With Varun having not played a single competitive game since his shoulder injury in early November, questions are now being raised as to how the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee selected him in the first place.
“Varun Chakravarthy was selected because he recovered from his shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Australia series. He did his rehab at the NCA and started throwing normally.
“However, he has failed to clear the YoYo-test mark stipulated for a 2-km run at least twice,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“We can understand he was doing his rehab during Mushtaq Ali (T20 Championship). But then again, he didn’t play a single Vijay Hazare Trophy game. How do you assess his match fitness based on games that he played five months back? I guess Varun Chakravarthy is a lesson for selectors,” said the official.
“If a player is generally not maintaining the standards set by this Indian team, his bowling alone can’t be a criteria for selection.” the official added.
Meanwhile, It has been speculated that Mumbai Indians leg-spinner Rahul Chahar will be included in the T20I squad as he is already a part of the bio-bubble. Chahar was one of the net bowlers during the Test series.